Specification at a glance

This A-level requires students to sit a total of four examinations and take two internal assessments.

There are two routes for the assessment of practical skills, providing flexibility for teachers and students.

  • Investigative skills assignments are marked by the teachers
  • Externally marked practical assignments are marked by AQA.

There are no previous learning requirements, but we recommend candidates have the skills and knowledge associated with a GCSE Additional Science course or equivalent. Centres are free to set their own requirements.

AS Examinations (AS Award 1406)
Unit 1 – HBIO1 The body and its diseases
Examination paper (80 raw marks/120 UMS). 7 – 10 short-answer questions plus 1 longer question, involving a short comprehension/case study.

1 hour 30 minutes
40% of the total AS marks
20% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only
Unit 2 – HBIO2 Humans – their origins and adaptations
Examination paper (80 raw marks/120 UMS). 7 – 10 short answer questions plus 1 longer question, involving a short comprehension/case study. 

1 hour 30 minutes
40% of the total AS marks
20% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only 
Unit 3 – Internal Assessment Investigative and practical skills in AS Human Biology

Either NHBI3T 
Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 6 raw marks)
Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 44 raw marks)

Or NHBI3X 
Externally Marked Route X (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Verification (PSV – teacher verification)
Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA – 50 raw marks)

20% of total AS marks
10% of total A-level marks

Available in June only
A2 Examinations (A-level Award 2406)
Unit 4 – HBIO4 Bodies and cells in and out of control
Examination paper (90 raw marks/120 UMS). 9 – 11 short-answer questions plus 1 longer question, involving methodology and data interpretation. Some of the questions will have synoptic elements.

2 hours
20% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only
Unit 5 – HBIO5 The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat
Examination paper (90 raw marks/120 UMS). 7-9 short-answer questions plus 1 longer question that will offer a choice of two essay topics. Some of the questions will have synoptic elements.

2 hours
20% of the total A-level marks

Available in June only
Unit 6 – Internal Assessment Investigative and practical skills in A2 Human Biology

Either NHBI6T 
Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 6 raw marks)
Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 44 raw marks)

Or NHBI6X 
Externally Marked Route X (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Verification (PSV – teacher verification)
Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA – 50 raw marks)

10% of total A-level marks

Available in June only