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Courses for Adults

GCSE Biology (Adult Learners)

Subject Area
Start Date
13 September 2021
Additional Start Date
14 September 2021
Additional Start Date
15 September 2021
Study Mode
31/32 Weeks

This Level 2 GCSE qualification in Biology teaches you the skills and knowledge detailed in the AQA GCSE Biology single award syllabus. You will have access to a wide range of online materials provided. Regular reading from the course textbook is encouraged to maximise your success and grade at the end of the year.

The course is fast-paced, so good attendance is required to ensure you keep up with the content and do not miss essential practical work. It is a popular course for people looking for a career change or looking to meet the requirements to have a science GCSE for further study.

The course covers the theoretical foundations of biology of and covers the behaviour and interactions of cells, tissues, organs, and whole-body systems and eventually ends with understanding man’s interaction with his environment. It also develops your practical and data analysis skills.

Course Modules/units

Topics covered within this course include:

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation, and evolution
  • Ecology

All students are automatically entered for the Foundation Tier of the exam giving access to grades up to and including grade 5.

Students wishing to be entered for the higher tier grades 4-9) should discuss this with the tutor and demonstrate they are consistently able to work at a grade 5 level or higher in assessments and mock exams.

Entry Requirements

Students should have a reasonable grasp of level 2 English and Maths (i.e., grade 3/4, C/D at GCSE) or be studying for a level 2 qualification in English and Maths.

Whilst we make no formal requirement for English and Maths prospective students should note 15% of the examination involves mathematical skills and there is also a requirement for good English.

This is an adult course and students should be 19+ from the first day of the programme. Due to the demands of the course, we do not recommend this is done in addition to another full-time course, or in conjunction with the study of GCSE English and Mathematics as students find such a workload too demanding.

GCSE Biology plus ONE additional GCSE (Maths or English) is possible.

Dates and Course Durations

Induction: Wednesday 8th September 2021

  • Online induction
  • All students
  • Recording will be available for students who cannot attend.

Any questions: Thursday 9th September 2021

  • Opportunity to ask any questions sort out issues prior to course start

September (Day)
13th Sep 2021 – 6th Jun 2022, Mondays, 10.45am – 1.15pm, 31 weeks

September (Eve) 14st Sep 2021 – 24th May 2022, Tuesdays, 6pm – 8.30pm, 32 weeks

September (Eve)15nd Sep 2021 – 25th May 2022, Wednesdays, 6pm – 8.30pm, 32 weeks

Study Method

There will be a range of work in class, including discussions, group work and individual work, with an equivalent time spent on personal study and homework, including using online resources.


Two written exams in May/June

  • 1 hour 45 minutes long
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Long and short written questions

Paper 1 – 100 marks – 50% of GCSE

  • Cell biology, Organisation, Infection and Response and Bioenergetics.

Paper 2 – 100 marks – 50% of GCSE

  • Homeostasis and Response, Inheritance, Variation and Evolution and Ecology

There are 10 required practicals to complete throughout the year and the theory and application of these is examined within these two papers. There is no practical examination.

Course Fees

£405 - £811
The fees for this course can vary depending on funding eligibility, if you feel you may qualify for funding, please contact the Funding Team.

Additional Costs

All materials are provided for you to complete the course. However, some courses may require additional study from home, you may need access to a PC/laptop and suitable Wi-Fi to access teaching and learning. You will be made aware of any additional study time at the time of enrolment.


Students have access to a fantastic range of College-wide facilities such as the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), study hubs, computer areas with accompanying multi-function printers and helpdesk advice.

Course Progression

Many students use this qualification as a steppingstone to a Level 3 course of their choosing. A large proportion of students go on study healthcare professions such as Paramedics, Nursing and Midwifery and some go on to PGCE courses or Access to Higher Education Diploma courses, available at York College University Centre which enables them to study university degrees and higher-level qualifications.

Career Progression

You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge in Biology to help you progress and develop in a number of job opportunities to suit your personal needs and interests

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