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What A-levels do you need to study biology?

Calling all future scientists! We’ve done the research to help you with what subjects to take if you're serious about studying biology at uni.

 A-level subjects for biology

What A-level subjects are needed or essential for biology?  

If you’re planning to study a biology or biological sciences degree, unsurprisingly the majority of courses will require you to have A-level biology under your belt, although a few may accept you with any science subject.
  • biology
  • many courses also require at least one from chemistry, physics or maths – preferences for particular subjects vary between universities.
As a general rule of thumb, the A-level combination that will keep as many options open to you as possible is biology, chemistry and maths.

Find out more about university entry requirements.


What A-levels are useful for biology?

  • chemistry
  • maths
  • physics

Choosing your A-levels? See where different combinations can lead with our Explorer tool.

Other typical A-levels taken by current biology students

  • general studies

Take a look at individual biology courses on The Uni Guide to find out the most popular subjects students studied before starting their biology degree.


Examples of biology degree requirements

Below is a range of Bachelor of science (with Honours) courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for (as of 26 April 2024):

Newcastle University: ‘A,B,B. Including Biology and normally another science-related subject from: Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Geography, Psychology, Environmental Science or Geology. General Studies is excluded. Chemistry is preferred at A or AS level, but not essential. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics A levels, we require a pass in the practical element. GCSE Mathematics minimum grade B or 6 if not offered at A or AS level.’

Edge Hill University: 'B,B,C - B,B,B. Please note, the above represents an example of how you can achieve the required number of tariff points, however you can also achieve this with other combinations. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.’

University of St. Andrews: 'A,A,A. To include Biology and one of the following science subjects: Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics. Subjects excluded: Citizenship Studies, Critical Thinking, Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) and General Studies.'


Other similar degree subjects

Bear in mind that these similar subjects may have slightly different A-level requirements to biology, so if you want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check the entry requirements of specific courses before making your choices.

Where could your A-levels take you?

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