Exam Board: AQA

This course is suitable for highly capable science students. At the end of this course students will be awarded a GCSE in Biology.

Alongside knowledge-based learning, the GCSE specification in biology should enable students to:

Biology should be studied in ways that help students to develop curiosity about the natural world, insight into how science works, and appreciation of its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of such study should be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying, and thereby encourage students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievements.


The qualification is divided into two externally examined components. Each examination is 1 hour 45 minutes in duration, is available in foundation or higher tier, consists of 100 marks and contributes to 50% of a GCSE.

Biology Paper 1: Biology topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.

Biology Paper 2: Biology topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.

Where can it lead?

Taking three separate sciences puts you at a distinct advantage when wanting to study science beyond GCSE and provides a solid foundation for many science-related and unrelated careers such as: doctor, vet, physiotherapist, chemist, architect, surveyor, engineer, farmer, sports trainer, lawyer, journalist, computer games developer, marine biologist and electrician, to name but a few, a strong knowledge of at least one of the sciences will be highly desirable if not essential.