KS5 Years 12 & 13 Biology

A-Level Biology

We follow the AQA Biology specification (7401/2) at Newlands Girls’ School.


The A-Level course is divided into 8 sections, the 1st year of the course (Sections 1-4) building on knowledge gained at GCSE and the 2nd year of the course (Sections 5-8) increasing the depth and breadth of knowledge.

Year 12 – 1st year of A-Level (AS)

Biological molecules comprising: Biological molecules; Nucleic acids.

Cells comprising: Cell structure; Transport across cell membranes; Cell recognition and the immune system.

Organisms exchange substances with their environment comprising: Exchange; Mass transport.


Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms comprising: DNA, genes and protein synthesis; Genetic diversity; Biodiversity.


6 required practicals are carried out, knowledge of which may be examined in AS examinations.


Year 13 – 2nd year of A-Level

Energy transfer in and between organisms comprising: Photosynthesis; Respiration; Energy and ecosystems

Organisms respond to changes in their environment comprising: Response to stimuli; Nervous coordination and muscles; Homeostasis


Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems comprising: Inherited change; Populations and evolution, Populations in ecosystems


The control of gene expression comprising: Gene expression; Recombinant DNA technology


A further 6 required practicals are carried out; knowledge of all 12 required practicals may be examined in A-Level examinations.


Information about the course can be found on the AQA website:



AS-Level Biology

2 x 1 ½ hour papers in June of 1st year of the course.  Both papers on all topics covered in 1st year of A level.  An AS qualification is achieved; the marks gained in these papers do not contribute to the A level grade.

A-Level Biology

3 x 2 hour papers in June of 2nd year of the course. 

1st paper on first year of A level, 2nd paper on second year of A level, 3rd paper on both years’ work.


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