A Level Biology Course

A level Biology, Biology is the natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. This distance learning Biology A Level course contains all the information you will need to pass the A-Level biology exam. You will have a personal tutor for the entirety of this course, who will be more than happy to aid you in completing this course, and will be available to mark all the end of unit assessments.

For those of you new to A levels, these courses consist of two parts, the AS and A2 . Both parts are covered here providing students with an opportunity to acheive their full A level AQA certification and invaluable UCAS points. Perfect for students looking to gain a university place.

Qualification: A Level Biology
Accredited: Yes
QCF Recognised: Yes
Awarding Body: AQA
Start Date: Anytime - We enrol 365 days a year
Duration: Flexible - Approx 700 Hours - Support until June 2016
UCAS Points: Dependant on Grades

View full Specification here

Course fees include course lessons & tutor support until June 2016
(Exam & practical assessment fees not included)


A Level Biology Course

A Level Biology Course

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Course Fee: Starting at: £389.00

What's included in the fees?

1: Printed course materials/course pack
2: Course delivery via courier
3: Tutor support via email until June 2016
4: Assignment feedback and marking
5: FREE Nus Extra student card when paying fees in full upon enrolment - (Redemption code issued within 28 days)

What's not included in the fees?

1: Associated examination fees
2: Practical assessments - Where applicable
3: Optional study texts - recommended reading

One of the biggest concerns for any potential student is the financial commitment involved. UK Open College recognise this and have implemented a pay as you study plan to assist students in spreading any fees involved with their course over a manageable period of time. Students are able to pay a deposit upon enrolment followed by a monthly repayment over a set period of time.

We would encourage students to view any related fees as an investment in their future. The majority of investments will provide a rewarding return over a set period of time. Once qualified and in employment students can expect a fantastic return on their investment year after year.

We offer all UK Based students guaranteed acceptance onto this scheme* upon completion of a signed student agreement. Shortly after paying your deposit our accounts department will contact you direct via telephone to gather the required information to complete the agreement. Once received we will forward a digital document via email for your signature. 

*Contact details, employment details and valid UK bank details with the ability to set up direct debit are required for all students applying for our pay as you study plan. If students are unable to provide this information any application may be declined. 

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Course Format

1.1 – Disease may be caused by infectious pathogens or may reflect the effects of lifestyle

1.2 - The digestive system provides an interface with the environment. Digestion involves enzymic hydrolysis producing smaller molecules that can be absorbed and assimilated.

1.3 - Substances are exchanged between organisms and their environment by passive or active transport across exchange surfaces. The structure of plasma membranes enables control of the passage of substances across exchange surfaces.

1.4 – The lungs of a mammal also act as an interface with the environment. Lung function may be affected by pathogens and by factors relating to lifestyle.

1.5 - The functioning of the heart plays a central role in the circulation of blood and relates to the level of activity of an individual. Heart disease may be linked to factors affecting lifestyle.

1.6 – Mammalian blood possesses a number of defensive functions.

2.1 – Living organisms vary and this variation is influenced by genetic and environmental factors.

2.2 – DNA is an information-carrying molecule. Its sequence of bases determines the structure of proteins, including enzymes.

2.3 – Similarities and differences in DNA result in genetic diversity.

2.4 – The variety of life is extensive and this is reflected in similarities and differences in its biochemical basis and cellular organisation.

2.5 – During the cell cycle, genetic information is copied and passed to genetically identical daughter cells.

2.6 – In complex multicellular organisms, cells are organised into tissues, tissues into organs and organs into systems.

2.7 – Factors such as size and metabolic rate affect the requirements of organisms and this gives rise to adaptations such as specialised exchange surfaces and mass transport systems.

2.8 – Classification is a means of organising the variety of life based on relationships between organisms and is built round the concept of species.

2.9 – Originally, classification systems were based on observable features but more recent approaches draw on a wider range of evidence to clarify relationships between organisms.

2.10 - Adaptation and selection are major components of evolution and make a significant contribution to the diversity of living organisms.

2.11 – Biodiversity may be measured within a habitat.

3.1 - Investigating biological problems involves changing a specific factor, the independent variable, and measuring the changes in the dependent variable that result.

3.2 - Implementing involves the ability to work methodically and safely, demonstrating competence in the required manipulative skills and efficiency in managing time. Raw data should be methodically collected and recorded during the course of the investigation.

3.3 - Raw data may require processing. Processed data should be used to plot graphs that illustrate patterns and trends from which appropriate conclusions may be drawn. Scientific knowledge from the AS specification should be used to explain these conclusions.

3.4 - Limitations are inherent in the material and apparatus used, and procedures adopted. These limitations should be identified and methods of overcoming them suggested.

4.1 - The dynamic equilibrium of populations is affected by a number of factors.

4.2 - ATP provides the immediate source of energy for biological processes.

4.3 - In photosynthesis, energy is transferred to ATP in the light-dependent reaction and the ATP is utilised in the light-independent reaction.

4.4 - In respiration, glycolysis takes place in the cytoplasm and the remaining steps in the mitochondria. ATP synthesis is associated with the electron transfer chain in the membranes of mitochondria.

4.5 - Energy is transferred through ecosystems and the efficiency of transfer can be measured.

4.6 - Chemical elements are recycled in ecosystems. Microorganisms play a key role in recycling these elements.

4.7 - Ecosystems are dynamic systems, usually moving from colonisation to climax

communities in the process of succession.

4.8 - Genetic variation within a species and geographic isolation leads to the accumulation of different genetic information in populations and the potential formation of new species.

5.1 - Stimuli, both internal and external, are detected and lead to a response.

5.2 - Coordination may be chemical or electrical in nature.

5.3 - Skeletal muscles are stimulated to contract by nerves and act as effectors.

5.4 - Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment.

5.5 - Negative feedback helps maintain an optimal internal state in the context of a dynamic equilibrium. Positive feedback also occurs.

5.6 The sequence of bases in DNA determines the structure of proteins, including enzymes.

5.7 - Gene expression is controlled by a number of features.

5.8 - Gene cloning technologies allow study and alteration of gene function in order to better understand organism function and to design new industrial and medical processes.

6.1 - Investigating biological problems involves changing a specific factor, the independent variable, and measuring the changes in the dependent variable that result.

6.2 Implementing involves the ability to work methodically and safely, demonstrating competence in the required manipulative skills and efficiency in managing time. Raw data should be methodically collected and recorded during the course of the investigation.

6.3 - Data should be analysed by means of an appropriate statistical test. This allows calculation of the probability of an event being due to chance. Appropriate conclusions should be drawn and scientific knowledge from the A Level specification should be used to explain these conclusions.

6.4 - Limitations are inherent in the material and apparatus used and procedures adopted. These limitations should be identified, evaluated and methods of overcoming them suggested.

Students looking to enrol onto this course should meet the following criteria:

Minimum of GCSE grade C or above.

Candidates will be required to have an understanding of the following terms: molecule, ion, compound element, isomer, isotope, oxidation, bond, reduction, hydrolysis, condensation, and wavelength

Candidates should also be familiar with:

Arithmetic and computation
Handling Data

How Science Works

An understanding of How Science Works is a requirement. How Science Works is an underpinning set of concepts and is the means whereby students come to understand how scientists investigate scientific phenomena in their attempts to explain the world about us. Moreover, How Science Works recognises the contribution scientists have made to their own disciplines and to the wider world.

To sit AQA examination/practicals students must register as a private candidate with an approved examination centre prior to enrolment for both examination and practical assessment. Do not enrol until you have have confirmed availability/fees for both with your chosen centre

Please visit AQA here for exam information 

View a list of UK Exam Centres here

If the centres listed are unable to accomodate you or are unsuitable for any reason we have agreements with 4 centres listed below that may be able to help. It really is worth the effort to travel if need be.

Recommended Exam Centres

English Maths Science Tuition Centre Ltd.
40 Showell Green lane
B11 4JP
United Kingdom

Tel: 0121-771-1298




3A Tutors Ltd
1A High Street
Staple Hill
BS16 5HA

Tel: 0117 9109931

Email: enquiries@3at.org.uk


Campbell Harris Tutors Ltd
185 Kensington High Street
W8 6SH
Telephone 020 7937 0032

Email principal@campbellharris.co.uk

Web Site http://campbellharris.co.uk/Content.asp?ID=18

Note: The contract for sitting exams and practical assessment is between you and the centre and we will provide you with comprehensive instructions on when and how to deal with the examination centre. We advise students to contact 2 or 3 centres and compare charges as they will vary.

From 2014 exams will be taken in June of each year.  Please be advised that all students are advised to check and confirm availability and examination fees prior to enrolment. UK Open College has no control over availabilty or exam fees charged. 


AQA A Level Biology
AS & A2 

UCAS points awarded upon grades acheived.  Visit UCAS here for more info

AQA are one of the largest awarding bodies within the UK. Predominantly aimed at 14-19 year old students sitting A levels and GCSE's for the first time or mature students generally looking to retake or achieve UCAS points for a university application. AQA provides students with a fully recognised qualification as provided by any further educaton college. 

Course duration will vary dependant on student commitment, effort and ability. Overall guided learning hours are approx 700. This should be used as a guideline only and completion times will vary hugely.We would encourage students to serioulsy consider how they plan to complete their chosen course prior to enrolment. Students should think about how they are going to study, where they are going to study and how often. Be realistic!

Speak to family members and help them to understand what you are trying to acheive, explain you may require peace and space to study at certain times. The more you involve them the more likely you are to get them on your side. Students are reminded that the time in which they complete is purely down to them as an individual.

Completion can be as quickly or as slowly as you wish within the tuition period. If you require additional time an extension may be available. Extensions are arranged at an additional cost as and when needed.

Students are able to select how they wish to study.

Paper based: Receive your course pack in the post in hard copy and correspond direct with your tutor via email


Online: Access our premium online cloud based learning system where you are able to access all of your course lessons, assignments and tutor correspondence in one place. Download the APP and access your course information on any device from anywhere in the world with an internet signal. Whichever way you choose to study is up to you.!

Please be advised students cannot choose both methods/formats. You will be required to select your preferred method at checkout.

Q: Why can't i use both methods?
A:  Each method has been developed and written in such a way that having both will cause total confusion. Both formats are laid out and taught in totally different ways hence we ask students to choose their preferred method at the enrolment stage.

This course lessons are self-contained, however we would advise you to read other books on this subject:

AS Biology for AQA, author; Michael Kent, publisher; Oxford University Press,

AQA AS Biology, author; Glenn Toole and Susan Toole, publisher; Nelson Thornes,

A Levels are changing. Please note students enrolling onto A Levels this year will need to have completed their examinations by June 2016. There is no flexibilty on this and we are unable to extend beyond this period. Any student wishing to continue after this will be required to re-register and pay the course fees again in full.

Unit 1: BIOL1 – Biology and Disease

33.3% of the total AS marks
16.7% of the total A Level marks
1 hour 15 minutes examination paper
60 raw marks
5 – 7 short answer questions plus 2 longer questions

Unit 2: BIOL2 – The variety of living organisms

46.7% of the total AS marks
23.3% of the total A Level marks
1 hour 45 minutes examination paper
85 raw marks
7 – 9 short answer questions plus 2 longer questions

Unit 3: Internal Assessment – Investigate and practical skills in AS Biology

20 % of total AS marks
10% of total A Level marks


Centre Marked Route T, 50 raw marks
Practical Skills Assessment, 6 raw marks
Investigate Skills Assessment, 44 raw marks

Unit 4: BIOL4 – Populations and environment

16.7 % of the total A Level marks
1 hour 30 minutes examination paper
75 raw marks
6 – 9 short answer questions plus 2 longer questions involving continuous prose and How Science Works

Unit 5: BIOL5 – Control in cells and in organisms

23.3% of the total A Level marks
2 hours 15 minutes examination paper
100 raw marks
8 – 10 short answer questions plus 2 longer questions

Unit 6: Internal Assessment – Investigate and practical skills in A2 Biology

10% of the total A Level marks

Centre Marked Route T, 50 marks
Practical Skills Assessment, 6 raw marks
Investigative Skills Assessment, 44 marks

Assignment Information

Throughout the course there will be self-assessment questions, and tutor marked questions, to enable students to monitor their progress

Past Papers

Visit AQA website and download past sample exam papers click here

Exam Format

A Level Biology consists of 6 units in total:

AS Level = 3 units
A2 Level = 3 units

AS Level

Unit 1: BIOL1 – Biology and Disease

Examination paper: 1 hour 15 minutes

Unit 2: BIOL2 – The variety of living organisms

Examination paper: 1 hour 45 minutes

Unit 3: Internal Assessment – Investigate and practical skills in AS Biology


· BIO3T, Centre Marked Route T

A2 Level

Unit 4: BIOL4 – Populations and environment

Examination paper: 1 hour 30 minutes

Unit 5: BIOL5 – Control in cells and in organisms

Examination paper: 2 hour 15 minutes

Unit 6: Internal Assessment – Investigate and practical skills in A2 Biology


BIO6T, Centre Marked Route T

​In order to help students with the terms and conditions of their enrolment we have tried to keep things simple and easy to understand. No jargon or small print. Our full terms and conditions can be viewed here. 

In our experience the main and most important part of these terms for our students is the cancellation & returns policy. So lets explain these clearly to avoid any misunderstanding. 

Firstly we would request that students check the course syllabus and content immediately upon receipt. This is vitally important. Please ensure that any qualification awarded at the end of your course meets your needs. If in doubt call us on 0121 288 0181 to check before you enrol.

If for any reason you wish to cancel and return your course to us for a refund you are welcome to do so as long as you notify us within 7 days of receipt at the delivery address. Please email accounts@ukopencollege.co.uk stating your name, address, invoice number requesting to cancel. We will then respond to you with further instruction. If you have received a hard copy of your course you will be required to return this at your own cost via courier/recorded delivery before a full refund will be issued. If you have paid a deposit and signed a student agreement you will be charged a £30 cancellation fee. This will be deducted from any deposit paid. 

All returns must remain unused and in resaleable condition. This complies with distance selling regulations 2000. All students are welcome to return their course to us for any reason as long as we have been notified within the 7 days as above. Unfortunately if notification to cancel is received outside of this period your request for a refund will be declined. This does not affect your statutory rights

Please call our accounts team direct on 01827 283735 if you have any questions regarding our cancellation and returns policy. It will only cost you a phone call 

Reviews For A Level Biology Course

Date Added: 09/06/2014 by Amar Sharma
5 Out Of 5 Stars
Enrolled on Friday and received my materials today. All looking good so far. No complaints at all.
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Date Added: 11/01/2015 by Neil Lomas
5 Out Of 5 Stars
One of 3 A Levels i have recently enrolled on. For those students looking to do 3 or more then the c...
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Date Added: 12/05/2014 by Simon Reading
4 Out Of 5 Stars
I registered for this course just over 12 months ago and have managed to work my through with one or...
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Date Added: 11/08/2014 by Wain Kilmer
3 Out Of 5 Stars
Never realised completing an A level was so hard. I have completely miscalculated the difficulty of ...
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