Why Study A Level Biology (International)?

‘Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.’ Richard Dawkins.

Life is beautiful! From atoms to cells, from genes to proteins, from populations to ecosystems, Biology is the study of the fascinating and intricate systems that make life possible. Studying Biology will enable you to learn about the natural world and all the living things within it. Boost your knowledge in life and living organisms and gain an insight into evolution, gene expression and biological molecules.

A Level Biology blends theoretical and practical understanding with analytical skills. You will develop a deep understanding of the intricacies of the living world and its interaction with other systems, including its impact on us and us on it. Alongside in-depth knowledge of the biological world, the study of Biology also helps you to develop skills in research, problem solving, organisation and communication.

Gaining an A Level in Biology opens up a vast range of opportunities for both university degrees and career options. Biology is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees in Biological Science and Medical related fields of study. Careers directly related to biology include medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, physiotherapy, biomedical engineering, microbiology, marine biology, conservation and ecology, environmental management, food science, agricultural engineering and zoology. Biology is also a requirement for some Psychology degrees.

‘I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of Biology and technology. A new era is beginning.’ Steve Jobs.

Note that our experienced University Services Adviser can advise on A Level courses and all aspects of university entrance including application support and references. These services are easy to access though our booking form.


A Level Course Information

What do I Need to Know to Enrol?

A Level Biology (International) is available only to students based outside the UK. It builds directly on the work you will have done for IGCSE or equivalent in the subject. Grade B or 6 at IGCSE or the equivalent is required before starting on the A Level. Due to the knowledge of Mathematics and Chemistry required, we also require that you have Grade B or 6 in Maths and Chemistry at IGCSE  or equivalent before embarking on this subject. Wolsey Hall offers the relevant IGCSE courses should they be necessary. All students undertaking Wolsey Hall A levels must also have IGCSE in English Language at Grade C or 4.

A Level Entry Requirements

The Syllabus and Exam

This course prepares you for the Edexcel International A Level Biology syllabus XBI11 (for AS) and YBI11 (for the full A Level, AS + A2). Exams take place in January, June and October.

For the AS in Biology, you will take:

Paper 1: Molecules, Diet, Transport and Health (code WBI11/01) worth 40% of the AS grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 30 minutes)

Paper 2: Cells, Development, Biodiversity and Conservation (code WBI12/01) worth 40% of the AS grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 30 minutes)

Paper 3: Practical Skills in Biology I (code WBI13/01) worth 20% of the AS grade and 10% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 20 minutes)

For the A2 in Biology, you will take:

Paper 4: Energy, Environment, Microbiology and Immunity (code WBI14/01) worth 40% of the A2 grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 45 minutes)

Paper 5: Respiration, Internal Environment, Coordination and Gene Technology (code WBI15/01) worth 40% of the A2 grade and 20% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 45 minutes)

Paper 6: Practical Skills in Biology II (code WBI16/01) worth 20% of the A2 grade and 10% of the overall A Level grade. (1 hour and 20 minutes)

You will not be expected to carry out experiments during the exam; however, you are expected to develop your experimental skills, and a knowledge and understanding of practical techniques is necessary as any of the exam papers may assess your understanding of the scientific method, particularly in relation to the core practicals listed in the syllabus.

We have developed resources in conjunction with the Lab Book so that home students can familiarise themselves with the methods by watching appropriate YouTube videos, and using hypothetical data to complete as many of the questions as possible. Where feasible, you may even be able to carry out a simplified method at home. These resources are all self-assessed, as the answers to analytical questions are provided with the Lab Book, but your tutor is available to answer any questions.


The new AS will be examined for the first time in 2019. The new A2 will be examined for the first time in 2020.

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Course Fee

The fee for Edexcel A Level Biology is £795 via instalments. There is a discount of 5% for payment in full reducing the fee to £755.

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Meet Our A Level Biology Tutors

  • Nerys Meardon

    The best part of teaching is watching students progress. I believe in providing high-quality exam training and feedback to help students achieve their best possible grade.

    BSc, MSc, PGCE Subject: Biology View Profile
  • Lyndsay Baker

    Science is awesome! I’ve been a fan of science in general, and biology in particular, my entire life. I look forward to communicating with my students, so, if you have any questions please contact me!

    BSc Subject: Biology, Physics, Science, Co-ordinated Science View Profile
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