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A Level Biology Distance Learning Course

A Level Biology Distance Learning Course

[ UALV02-2015 ]


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Course Description

This distance learning A Level Biology course has been designed to the latest specifications. The first available exam dates for this version of the AQA Biology A Level are in June 2017.

Biology is an interesting subject, and can provide a great route into a number of diverse fields, such as medicine or medical science, animal care, veterinary studies or even horticulture. This qualification can give a boost to your CV and helps to provide a pathway into higher education.

NB: Under the new A Level specifications, the AS Level is now a separate qualification, and does not count towards the full A Level. If student's still wish to sit the AS exams our course does cover the content – and for many subjects these exams are available in 2016. However, we would always advise students to check with their chosen exam centre about the availability of exams.


  • Course Length - 24 Months
  • Award Received - AQA A Level Biology
  • Course Code: UALV02

In accordance with the latest specifications, this course has been designed to encourage students to:
  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • Develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • Develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • Understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.


The AQA A Level Biology specification is structured into eight topics, assessed across three examinations. This course has been designed to reflect this, and will take students through each topic, as listed below:
  • Topic 1: Biological molecules
  • Topic 2: Cells
  • Topic 3: Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Topic 4: Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  • Topic 5: Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Topic 6: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  • Topic 7: Genetic populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • Topic 8: The control of gene expressions


AQA A Level in Biology: *AQA Qualification Code: 7402
In order to attain this qualification you must sit three examinations and twelve practical assessments. The practicals are not marked, but you will need to be observed by an examination centre to demonstrate competence in the different techniques. The practicals are usually held in Spring of each year, while the written exams are in May/June. Booking exams is the responsibility of the student. Any and all exam fees will be paid by the student directly to their chosen exam centre. Finding an exam centre that will allow private candidates to sit practical exams can be difficult, and students should be prepared to travel. On purchasing the course UKDLP will provide students with a list of recommended exam centres.

Paper 1

Assessment details:
  • 35% of A-Level
  • 91 marks
  • Written exam: 2 hours

What is assessed?:
Any content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills

  • 76 marks = A mixture of short and long answer questions
  • 15 marks = Extended response questions

Paper 2

Assessment details:
  • 35% of A-Level
  • 91 marks
  • Written exam: 2 hours

What is assessed?:
Any content from topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills

  • 76 marks = A mixture of short and long answer questions
  • 15 marks = Extended response questions

Paper 3

Assessment details:
  • 30% of A-Level
  • 78 marks
  • Written exam: 2 hours

What is assessed?:
Any content from topics 1-8, including relevant practical skills

  • 38 marks = Structured questions, including practical techniques
  • 15 marks = Critical analysis of given experimental data
  • 25 marks = One essay from a choice of two titles

Practical Assessment
Your A Level grade will be based on your written examinations. However, in order to recieve your A Level you must also undergo a seperate endorsement of 12 practical skills. These are listed below:
  • Use appropriate apparatus to record a range of quantitative measurements (to include mass, time, volume, temperature, length and pH)
  • Use appropriate instrumentation to record quantitative measurements, such as colorimeter or polotemeter
  • Use laboratory glassware apparatus for a variety of experimental techniques to include serial dilutions
  • Use of a light microscope at high power and low power, including use of graticule
  • Produce scientific drawing from observation with annotations
  • Use qualitative reagents to identify biological molecules
  • Seperate biological compounds using thin layer/paper chromatography or electrophoresis
  • Safely and ethically use organisms to measure plant or animal responses/ physiological functions
  • Use microbial aseptic techniques, including the use of agar plates and broth
  • Safely use instruments for dissection of an animal organ, or plant organ
  • Use sampling techniques in fieldwork
  • Use ICT such as computer modelling, or data logger to collect data, or use software to process data


Paper Based Version
  • The course comes to you as a paper-based pack delivered by courier.
  • You will be given guidance through the Study Guide on the nuts and bolts of studying and submitting assignments.
  • Postal assignments cannot be accepted without prior permission from the tutor.


The course contains a number of assignments which your tutor will mark and give you valuable feedback on. We call these Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs). You need only send the TMAs to your tutor for comment, not the self-assessment exercises which are also part of the course to help you gauge your progress.

Exams are taken at a registered exam centre, and we can provide an extensive list of centres for you. Please read our FAQs for further information.


Our A Levels come with tutor support for up to 24 months.


You will have access to a tutor, via email, who will mark your work and guide you through the course to help you prepare for your examinations. In addition, you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process.

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