Biology GCSE Single Award

Board: AQA
Syllabus: 8461

About this subject

This course is designed to provide students with a good knowledge of many aspects of Biology and a foundation in laboratory skills. Topics covered are from the smallest cell-sized scale to ecosystems, and as diverse as infection and evolution. The course includes ten required practicals that are assessed in end of course written exams.


Learning styles

The course is well resourced with worksbooks and students will be regularly tested. Lessons cover theory in question and answer sessions and are this links really well to the ten required practicals. During lessons, students will develop their communication and data handling skills. The course is taught at a fast pace in one academic year.  Many of the topics will have been covered at previous schools and the aim is to raise students grade to a C or above.

Subject Combinations and Progression

The subject supports students taking the Health and Social Care and Physical Education AS/A2 levels but is not intended as a route into A level Sciences.

Subject Modules and Assessment

There are two papers in May and June, both worth 50%. The first assesses Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.  The second assesses Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology, both papers are 1 hour 45 minutes long and include multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions.


Entry Requirements

Grade 1 in Science