North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021


Why study biology?

Biology is at the cutting edge, whether in personalised medicine, enhancing food security, understanding the impacts of actions on other species or in the development of wildlife surveillance. Innovation in such areas are profoundly important to the future of life.

Biology is the science of life. Biology studies life from the biggest units, the biomes and ecosystems to the smallest including the organelles and the genes.

The study of biology aims to pursue beyond mere observations, it strives to discover the mechanisms behind the observations. Biology is quickly changing, the advances are happening at a phenomenal rate, it is an exciting time to be a biologist.

A good biologist has a wide range of transferable skills, they ask probing questions, they show resilience and determination. Good biologists have clear language skills and use mathematics to support their arguments. They are interested in how processes happen and in the consequences if systems are disturbed. They are driven by asking questions, by performing experiments and scrutinising evidence.  Biologists are bright, interested people who don’t rest until they understand how.

Biology is a facilitating A-level which means that it is a qualification that universities favour for access to many degrees.

What our students say

“I enjoy the challenge of A-level biology as it pushes me to learn about the processes of life in a higher level of detail than before. It gives me a good foundation of knowledge as I look towards studying a science subject at degree level.” Nicole

“Biology opens your mind to a new way of thinking of the world around you”. Lucas

“Going to the coast allowed us to make sense of the theory we learn.” Cesca 

“I really enjoy learning about the processes of the body, it has inspired my degree choice.  I love the sense of scale, from the largest ecosystems down to the smallest organelle.” Nathan 

Entry requirements

Grades 8,7 in double award science GCSE, or 7,7 if studying chemistry A-level, or 7 in biology and chemistry GCSE. Grade 7 in maths and 6 in English GCSEs.

Potential courses

  • Forensics
  • Pharmacy
  • Agriculture
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology
  • Conservation
  • Medicine
  • Veterinary science
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Science journalist / writer

Potential careers

Biology suits any job where you will need to think for yourself, solve problems and communicate effectively. Biology is a good foundation of skills for most jobs.

The A-level course

Exam paper% of A-levelTopic
Paper 135Any content from the following topics studied in Year 12, including relevant practical skills. Topics include, cell biology, nuclear division, immune system, biochemistry, enzymes, heart and blood vessels, gas exchange, digestion and absorption, protein synthesis, taxonomy and roles of RNA.
Paper 235Any content from the following topics, studied in Year 13, including relevant practical skills. Topics include, photosynthesis, respiration, nerve impulses, hormonal control, inheritance, speciation, genetic fingerprinting and controlling gene expression.
Paper 330Any content from topics the above topics, including relevant practical skills.


Alumni – where are they now?

  • Eve (2018) Zoology
  • Niamh (2018) Healthcare sciences (audiology)
  • James (2018) Biochemistry
  • Hannah (2017) Dentistry
  • Tess (2016) Veterinary science
  • Ashwin (2015) Medicine
  • Trina (2014) Natural sciences
  • Elizabeth (2013) Biomedical sciences
  • Hannah (2013)  Sport and exercise sciences
  • Alexander (2012) Marine and freshwater biology
  • Emma (2011) Environmental science


Or, if you prefer to chat to someone please call our admissions team. For Senior School call 0113 228 5121 and for Primary School call 0113 228 5113.