GCSE in Biology
This course is for people aged 19 or over
Faculty of Maths and Science
Level Location Start Date End Date Day Time Fee Reduced Ask Apply
Level 2 - GCSE Maths and Science Centre* 11-Sep-18 04-Jun-19 Tues (32 weeks) 18:00-21:00 £440.00 £20.00

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

This one-year course provides the foundations of understanding the natural biological world. Practical work is an important part of the course and learners have to complete a range of specified practicals to prepare for the written exams.

You will be taught through lectures, practical work, assignments and videos and you will have access to fully equipped laboratories. You will experience several different methods of assessment to monitor your progress. If you have difficulty accessing the course, you may be eligible for learning support. The GCSE exam has two tiers of study; a foundation level and a higher level. Classes will be taught at the foundation level but with some additional material which will be most relevant to support further study. This will allow you to gain up to grade 5, equivalent to a B in the old GCSE, which is sufficient for progression. Students who demonstrate that they have done the required additional self-study can be entered for the higher level.

The assessments include practical work, study questions, problem sheets, independent research etc. There is one written paper worth 75%, marked externally which lasts 2 ¼ hours. This paper is taken in May. Paper 2 lasts 1 ¼ hours and is based on the practical work undertaken throughout the course and also includes a resource booklet with an unseen article which is the basis for a mix of short answer and data response questions. Typically paper 2 is in early June.

*Please note this course is held in the Maths and Science centre on Queen Street. Please click here for details.

What topics will I study?

Topics include:

  • Molecular and cellular structure of both humans and plants
  • Systems of the body such as circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, muscular, skeletal and reproductive
  • Photosynthesis and ecosystems, including food production
  • Growth, development, healthy lifestyles and genetics are also covered.

What are the entry requirements?

You will have achieved or be working towards a grade C or 4 in GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics, (many students take these courses alongside this course to work towards these levels). You will need to have successfully completed a test after three weeks of the course to ensure that you are ready for this level of study. Please contact the course organiser (susanday@exe-coll.ac.uk) prior to starting the course if you are unsure if you have the skills required to succeed in the course.

What facilities are there?

You will have access to new fully equipped laboratories and PCs as well as access to a learning resource centre.

What can the course lead on to?

You could progress to an advanced course, such as A Level Biology (a 5 grade in the higher tier would be required) or Access to HE Diploma in Health and Social Care or Diploma in Science. This course is particularly good for those intending on entering the Health Care profession and can meet the requirements for a GCSE science course, for example needed to progress into primary teaching.

Are there any additional costs?

Text book RRP £19.99 plus revision guide £9.99. You will also need a scientific calculator such as the Casio FX-83GTPLUS.
For any fee-related queries or further information, please contact the Advice and Recruitment Team on 01392 400444.


It is important that you apply and pay for your course at least one week before the course starts to ensure that you will have access to all the facilities and resources in your first week.
Please be aware that there are no car parking facilities at Exeter College city centre sites, but public car parks are available across the city.

College Prospectus

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