A-Level Assessed Practical Courses

OCR and AQA Practical Assessments at BioGrad

Private A-Level candidates are now able to visit the laboratories at Liverpool Science Park and complete their A-level assessed practical science courses.

These courses not only fulfil all the CPAC requirements, but they provide students with the opportunity to visit a working laboratory, gain experience alongside REAL scientists with AQA/OCR assessors and obtain their DofE GOLD Residential award whilst meeting new friends and learning new skills.

Separate courses are available for Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with each course specific for one exam board. All courses run from 9:30am – 4.30pm over 5 consecutive days to provide practical laboratory based training delivered by experienced researchers and qualified assessors.

Lab Skills Image 1 BioGrad


Students attending these courses are expected to be studying for their A-levels by distance learning or at a further education centre.

All students must attend the 1-day laboratory induction course BEFORE attending any practical assessments.

Examinations and Marking

We work with many examination centres throughout the UK. Students must have their assessed practical course marked by the examination centre where they will be sitting their A-Level science exams. You will have the option of selecting your preferred examination centre at the time of booking your course. Upon completion of your practical course your laboratory note book will be sent to your examination centre for marking and your examination centre will contact you directly with the outcome of your course.

The total course price is £699 which includes fees for marking the assessed practical and transfer of laboratory books securely from BioGrad to your examination centre.

You will be responsible for liaising with your examination centre to book and attend the A-Level exams at a later date.

Please check our list of approved examination centres. If your preferred centre is not included on this list please ask them to contact us at info@biograd.co.uk and we can organise the rest.

Examination Centres

Coming Soon

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

When attended as a residential option, this course fulfils the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential Award Requirements, which can be signed off by the course leader. Please provide your DofE number by the final day of the course in order for your reference and approval to be submitted online.

BioGrad Clinical Skills Duke of Edinburgh Gold

Liverpool Science Park

Please be aware that this is not a school laboratory. Students achieve their qualification at our state of the art facilities in Liverpool Science Park and are taught in very small groups, with real scientists to encourage questions, interaction and discussion. These courses not only offer the opportunity to gain the laboratory assessment, they also offers the opportunity to meet real scientists and enter a real research laboratory.

The BioGrad clinical centre and laboratories are centrally located, adjacent to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and within 7 minutes’ walk of both Central and Lime Street Train Stations.

Students should report to the main reception on Mount Pleasant (at the bottom of the Cathedral steps) upon arrival at the Science Park.

BioGrad Liverpool Science Park


Hatters Hostel is 2 minutes’ walk from Liverpool Science Park and has 13 years’ experience accommodating school, college and university students visiting Liverpool. Single occupancy, en-suite rooms are available for £47 per night, including breakfast, 3 course evening meal and free wi-fi.

The cost of the accommodation for 4 nights (Mon – Thurs) is just £188. You can request accommodation by clicking the link on your course registration form. If you select the accommodation box Hatters will contact you within 1 working day to organise payment and discuss dietary requirements. Students attending the ‘Laboratory Induction’ courses may wish to request additional nights directly with Hatters.

Please contact groups@hattersgroup.com for further information on accommodation.

BioGrad Accommodation

Child Protection

We do not accept students under 16 years of age on these courses. If you are booking for a child aged 16-17 years old (at the time of attending) they will be covered by our child protection policy. All students under the age of 18 years old must provide a signed consent form on the first day of the course (this will be sent to all parents registering children under 18 years of age and will require contact details in case of an emergency). Any children who attend without this form will not be permitted to stay in the accommodation and will be sent home on the first day.

Staff from BioGrad Student Services walk all students to Hatters Hostel on the Monday evening at 4.30pm. Students are ‘checked in’ and introduced to their receptionist who will be responsible for recording when students leave and return to the hostel. A member of the BioGrad Student Services team will remain at reception until 5pm to confirm that students are settled in.

A 3-course dinner is served each evening at 5.30pm at Hatters Hostel and students are expected to dine together

Students have free time in the evening and may leave the hostel, however all students under the age of 18 years old will be required so sign in and out at the front desk. Parents will be informed IMMEDIATELY if any students have not returned by 10pm.

Evening Activities

As part of the DofE GOLD award students will be expected to socialise during the evenings, whether this be inside or outside of the hostel. In addition to group dining and the games room available at Hatters a range of social activities are available to book via Hatters or BioGrad reception including cinema trips, bike tours and ClueFinders Escape Game. These are not included in the price of the course and students may opt in or out as they wish.

Clothing and PPE

Students are advised to wear comfortable clothes and shoes (ensuring legs and feet are covered when in the laboratory). We advise layered clothing as it can become warm when wearing a lab coat and gloves all day.

Personal protective equipment and laboratory note books are provided during each course.


Students have an hour for lunch each day. There are many places to purchase food and drink within walking distance of the Science Park, including Subway, Tesco’s, Costa, The EveryMan theatre and many small sandwich/coffee shops. Students wishing to bring their own food have access to a fridge and microwave during the course, plus a break room containing vending machines, a pool table and sky TV on-site.

Students staying at Hatters hostel have access to a communal kitchen and a dining area with games consoles and pool tables.

Lunches may be pre-ordered each morning at BioGrad Student Services for delivery at 12.15pm. Menu’s change daily and cost £4-£5 for a packed lunch (hot and cold available on different days).

Laboratory Inductions (£249)

Special Offer - £150 OFF LABORATORY INDUCTION courses booked before 30th September 2017!

All students entering the BioGrad laboratories for the first time must attend a laboratory induction course.

The 1 day course covers laboratory health and safety, an introduction to the equipment, laboratory maths and tuition on maintaining a laboratory note book.

The induction costs £249 and runs from 9.30am – 4.30pm on Sundays before the assessed practical weeks. One induction is suitable for all 3 science courses. Inductions may be attended the day before the assessed practical or weeks/months before.

  • Sunday 8th October 2017 -
  • Sunday 15th October 2017 -
  • Sunday 29th October 2017 -
  • Sunday 5th November 2017 -
  • Sunday 12th November 2017 -
  • Sunday 19th November 2017 -
  • Sunday 14th January 2018 -
  • Sunday 21st January 2018 -
  • Sunday 28th January 2018 -

Practical Assessments (£699)

The intensive course allows students to complete all aspects of their A-Level assessed practical work over the course of a week. Students must attend each day from 9.30 – 4.30 pm.

The course costs £699 for 5 days of practical tuition, assessment and laboratory note books are provided.

Pre-registration is advised due to the limited number of places available on each course:

A-Level Biology

  • AQA: 9th – 13th October 2017 -
  • OCR: 15th – 19th January 2018 -

A-Level Chemistry

  • AQA: 30th October – 3rd November 2017 -
  • OCR: 22nd – 26th January 2018 -

A-Level Physics

  • AQA: 13th – 17th November 2017 -
  • OCR: 29th January – 2nd February 2018 -

One to One tuition

For students who require added tuition, our qualified tutors have limited availability to provide one-to-one tuition for A-Level syllabus content on all science courses. Sessions cost £40 per hour and can be booked at times that fit around the assessed practical courses.

Please contact info@biograd.co.uk to request one to one lessons.



The cost of the Laboratory Introduction is £249

Special Offer - £150 off Lab Induction courses if booked before 30th September 2017

The cost of the Assessed Practical is £699

You can reserve your place on this course with a deposit of just 25% if you are booking more than 28 days in advance. The remaining balance is due four weeks prior to the course start date

You can also choose to pay for these courses in 6 instalments if you are booking more than 26 weeks in advance, or 12 instalments if you are booking more than 54 weeks in advance


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  • “My lab tutor was a skilful and talented teacher. He was able to simplify complex topics so all of the students could understand and then followed up to ensure we all fully grasped the techniques being taught. He made sure that any errors were rectified immediately so that we were always learning the correct techniques"
    Lucy - Introduction to Genetics
  • "I attended the course because I wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry but didn't have enough lab based experience. After the course I had experience in some of the most up to date techniques, taught by researchers working in the pharmaceutical industry. During the lunch time I was able to chat with all of the tutors and seek their advice for securing the job I wanted. Through the experience and advice I received I managed to secure a graduate level job in a small pharmaceutical company. I cannot recommend this course enough!"
    Josep (Graduate researcher) - Practical skills in drug discovery
  • "I received excellent tuition from a patient teacher who had an incredible enthusiasm for laboratory research. Under her tutelage and supervision, I acquired many laboratory skills in the area of cell culture techniques and high throughput screening for pre-clinical drug discovery."
    Akang (Research Scientist) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture and Practical drug discovery
  • "This was the first time I had the chance to perform practical laboratory techniques which I had only seen in lectures before this point. The tutors let us try a number of different ways to quantify cells and gave us the time and guidance to perfect our own techniques."
    Mark - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
  • "I was taught by an experienced researcher who gave us the opportunity to work with many different cell types. I was able to see the differences between the morphology and growth rates of different cells for myself. I also had the opportunity to try a number of different techniques which gave me confidence to apply for PhD's requiring cell culture experience."
    Gail (PhD researcher) - Introduction to mammalian cell culture
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