Biology: Durham School: independent day and boarding school in the North East of England for boys and girls
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Discover why Biology is possibly the most diverse subject to study.

Head of Department: Mr M Burke

Teaching Staff: Mr P Sturt, Dr D C Stevenson


Biology is possibly the most diverse subject to study, with wide ranging topics from Mendelian genetics to immunology to courtship behaviour!  The Biology department runs a club where we look to advance the pupil’s skills beyond that covered in the curriculum.  We investigate cutting edge developments in the field of medical research along with advancing basic practical skills, such as dissection technique and microscope work.  The Biology department is also linked with the pupil led Tristram Society and MedSoc, where pupils invite eminent speakers from various fields to come in and give lectures to further enrich their learning.

After Durham

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Zoology and Biomedical Science are some of the obvious routes our pupils have taken over the years, but an A-level in Biology will show that pupils have a skill set and aptitude that will allow them to study a wide range of courses,  Accountancy, Egyptology, Engineering or Mandarin. 


Biology at A level is intriguing and enjoyable. It has been a good mix of taught work and practicals ensuring the correct level of understanding all the way through. Although challenging at times, the variety it offers makes it really interesting and I've enjoyed expanding on subjects covered at GCSE. I chose to further extend my studies in one of the biology topics in my Extended Project Qualification.

Millie O'Dair, Year 13

Biology at A-level is really rewarding as it provides you with a detailed understanding over a wide range of topics and allows you to improve your practical skills. The biology teachers are engaging, making learning fun and interactive. They are always there to help, holding revision sessions every lunch time. 

Harriet Collinson, Year 13

Biology was a subject that I always enjoyed and did well in so it was no surprise I chose to carry it on at A Level. The course at Durham School was one I found challenging and enjoyable. The enthusiastic teaching was supported by interesting lab practicals and dissections which helped reinforce the concepts learned in class. We went on interesting trips which were relevant to the course and also quite a lot of fun! I found the support from the staff to be readily available and incredibly helpful which assisted me in getting an A in Biology at the end of the two years. This allowed me to go on and study Medicine at St Andrews and the application for this was also supported by the staff in the Biology Department. 

Calum Richarsdon, OD (2014)
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