Why study A-level Biology?

Biology is a fascinating subject, the study of which will see you learn about the natural world and all the living things within it. Gaining an A-level in this subject opens up a vast range of opportunities for both university degrees and career options, many of which can take you all around the world.

Students choose Biology for a number of reasons — perhaps they have a specific that requires a Biology qualification in mind, or maybe they are simply interested in the human body, or in the natural world around us. Biology covers a broad range of topics and has aspects to interest a wide range of students. Biology is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees in Biological Science and Medical related fields of study.

Biology is one of the Russell Group universities' 'facilitating' subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study.

What will you study in A-level Biology?

Specific content covered within A-level Biology may vary from school to school, and depending on the exam board followed. Typical topics may include molecules, cells, organisms and their environment, energy transfers, genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.

What skills will you get from studying Biology?

Alongside in depth knowledge of the biological world, biologists also develop skills and understanding of scientific methods, data analysis, observation, correlations and causal relationships.

As with the other sciences, the study of Biology also helps students to build up skills in research, problem solving, organisation and analytical skills. Given the group project work that occurs throughout the course, students also develop good teamwork and communication skills.

What careers can the study of Biology lead to?

Careers directly related to Biology include medical professions, pharmacy, physiotherapy, biomedical engineering, research science (life sciences), microbiology, marine biology, conservation, and ecology, environmental management, food science, agricultural engineering and zoology.

The transferable skills developed would also be useful in a diverse range of careers including: law, business analysis, psychology (Biology is a requirement for some Psychology degrees).

Top 20 universities for Biological Sciences
(The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)

1 University of Cambridge
2 Imperial College London
3 University of Oxford
4 University of Dundee
5 Lancaster University
6 University of St Andrews
7 University of Sheffield
8 University of Warwick
9 University of York
10 = University College London
10 = University of Exeter
12 University of Bristol
13 Durham University
14 King's College London
15 = University of Glasgow
15 = University of Birmingham
17 University of Strathclyde
18 University of Bath
19 University of Manchester
20 Nottingham Trent University

Below are real-life examples of what university degrees studying A-level Biology, in combination with other subjects, can lead to.

Biology/ Chemistry/ Maths/ Persian University of Exeter Neuroscience
Biology/ Chemistry/ Maths/ Physics Queen’s University Belfast Medicine
Biology/ Chemistry/ Maths Bristol University Pathology
Biology/ Chemistry/ Maths Royal Veterinary College Veterinary Medicine
Biology/ Chemistry/ Maths/ Persian University of Leeds Medical Science
Biology/ Chemistry/ Maths/ Physics University of Surrey Medical Engineering
Biology/ Maths/ Further Maths/ Physics University of Oxford Engineering

Read more about A-level subjects available across our UK schools here.