Welcome to the Immersive Practical A-Level Biology courses at BioGrad. These have been designed by working scientists and A-Level assessors with input from the A-level exam boards to provide the best possible opportunity for students wishing to obtain their practical endorsement.
The courses are held in the working research laboratories within Liverpool Science Park and offer real world laboratory experience that exceeds all requirements for the endorsed practical assessments.
BioGrad is able to partner with any registered examination centre to provide the practical endorsement, as long as the centre agrees to a working partnership with BioGrad.
Over the last 12 months BioGrad has provided training for students from the below 501 Schools, Colleges and Universities:
The Enhanced Biology Practical Endorsement programme includes:
Welcome talk, tour of laboratories within Liverpool Science Park and an introduction to laboratory health and safety.
After the laboratory induction, students learn about COSHH and risk assessments before starting their wet work. The first day provides the opportunity for students to learn their way around our laboratories. Students start by preparing and diluting their own molar solutions, develop their pipetting skills then prepare their own microbial growth medias and use the industrial autoclave for overnight sterilisation.
The day begins with an investigation into the effects of pH and temperature on trypsin, then students are allocated time to complete their laboratory notebooks before starting on exam practice for questions 1 and 2 on the practical exam papers. It is important that students not only pass their assessed practical but that they can also apply their skills in the A-Level examinations.
The afternoon is spent preparing onion root meristems for the investigation of mitosis using dyes and microscopy.
Students have the opportunity to further develop their microbiology skills by performing their own investigation into the effect of antimicrobials. The afternoon is spend on the dissection of a mammalian heart and exploration into the effect of surface area on the rate of diffusion.
Serial dilution of glucose to determine the water potential of potato tissue. Complete laboratory notebooks and exam questions. Investigation into the effect of beetroot membrane permeability.
Students spend the morning demonstrating their new laboratory skills by performing their independent investigations, then the afternoon is spent consolidating knowledge during the student presentation session.
Students are re-introduced to the laboratories and use colorimetry to determine glucose concentration of urine, completion of laboratory notebooks and answer exam questions 1 to 2.
Investigation into effect of light and humidity on movement of maggots in a choice chamber. Investigation into the rate of respiration of yeast.
Students visit Crosby beach to investigate the distribution of plants at using transects. Students perform data and sample collection for further evaluation back in the laboratories.
Students perform paper chromatography of photosynthetic pigments in plant samples from Crosby beach in the morning and their own investigation into dehydrogenase activity in chloroplasts in the afternoon.
The final day is allocated to the analysis of molecular biology results, completion of laboratory notebooks, preparation of evidence packs and scientific posters.
How to book:
Places are strictly limited to a maximum of 15 students per week. We can only accept bookings from students from exam centres that have working agreement in place with BioGrad. Students can check the current list of partner exam centres below:
Click here to view BioGrad Partner Exam Centres
If your centre of choice is not currently on this list, simply ask them to complete the below form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 482 9695 for further information.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
BioGrad is an Approved Activity Provide for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. This course may be used as your Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential Award, which can be signed off by the course leader on the final day. Please provide your Duke of Edinburgh Award number on your registration form at the time of booking your course. Students using this course for their GOLD residential must stay for at least 4 nights in dormitory accommodation.
Students who wish to use this course as work experience to support university applications may request a reference to be sent directly to their school or college. These references are signed off by the course leader after obtaining feedback from staff teaching during the course. These references help your teachers to create your UCAS reference. Students will also receive a PDF copy of this reference which they may use to support university and job applications.
We will happily take photographs of students working in the laboratory which often serve as excellent profile pictures for work related social networking (such as LinkedIn).
Students are asked not to take photographs of other attendees or staff without consent. Students under the age of 18 years old must provide the completed photo/video consent form on the first day of the course (sent to all students in their course registration confirmation) if they wish to have photographs taken for use on professional sites or social media.
Clothing and Equipment
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. All personal protective equipment is provided during the course including a AQA approved laboratory note book for recording results. Students should bring their own stationary and may find a laptop/tablet useful for recording results/data analysis and personal research.
Schools, colleges, universities, distance learning providers and DofE centres can book a bespoke course for groups of 10-15 students per week. Full board options are available including evening activities. Please contact email@example.com for availability.
International groups may take advantage of our collaboration with Liverpool School of English, booking a 2 week course with English tuition, full board home stay, transfers and insurance. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.
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 the City of Liverpool College, Subway, Tesco’s, Costa, The EveryMan theatre and many 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 who are attending as a residential course can make the most of their evenings by exploring the huge range of restaurants within walking distance of the Art House Hotel.
The BioGrad facilities and The Art House Hotel both have secure facilities for storing luggage on the days of arrival and departure. During the rest of the week students will be asked to store their belongings in locked cupboards opposite BioGrad Student Services (Outside of the laboratories and clinical training rooms) during the training sessions.
All payments are taken securely with PayPal. All major debit and credit cards are accepted so you don’t need a PayPal account.
The Enhanced 2 x 5 day package costs £999 per subject. You can reserve your place on this course with a deposit of just £249.75 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 this course 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.
Please select a date for attending your 'week 1' course and a date for attending your 'week 2' course below. Both courses must be attended for the practical endorsement.