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A-Level Physics Practical Endorsement - Basic course

Designed for students studying A-Level Physics with OCR, AQA or Pearson Edexcel

BioGrad Biology Assessed Practical Image 2

Welcome to the Immersive Practical A-Level Physics course 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 fulfils all requirements for the endorsed practical assessments.

  • “The environment is stimulating – lots of choice of professional lab apparatus to hand – and the atmosphere calm and highly conducive to the development of strong practical and investigative skills.”
    BioGrad Examination Centre Monitoring Visit – 2019
  • “The group size of students is restricted on courses to ensure that each student has access to their own apparatus and bench space to work. This also had the added advantage of allowing a great working relationship between Kathryn and her students so that they knew they could ask her for help when they did need it.”
    BioGrad Examination Centre Monitoring Visit – 2019
  • “Students come from a range of different backgrounds to experience the required practical work offered at BioGrad. It is clear from conversation with them that they are very much enjoying the course, they can see how the methods they are provided with become less descriptive over time which demands more from them as individuals.”
    BioGrad Examination Centre Monitoring Visit – 2019
  • “One student mentioned that the experience had made her want to follow a career path in STEM, she said that she would love to live her life in the lab! Another said that she would miss this experience when going home. When I asked how the course could be improved they found it hard to suggest anything. Their confidence levels and engagement with practical sciences were sound.”
    BioGrad Examination Centre Monitoring Visit – 2019
  • “Their [BioGrad Staff] enthusiasm for this work is impressive, the practical courses not only providing the minimum experience for students but, with independent investigation opportunities and an insight into potential career pathways for students. I am really pleased to see such outstanding provision available for students who are not in a routine school or college environment. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to supporting them to develop their practical skills in such a stimulating environment.”
    BioGrad Examination Centre Monitoring Visit – 2019

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 463 Schools, Colleges and Universities:

How long is the course?

The basic 5 day practical endorsement runs from 9.30am – 4pm each day Monday to Friday. There is also an evening social activity programme that students can opt in/out of at their own discretion.


Students must be studying A-level Biology with AQA, Edexcel or OCR by distance learning or at a further education centre.

This is an intensive practical course designed for students to ‘fast track’ the A-Level practical assessment. This basic course contains a limited number of opportunities to attempt each of the assessed practical techniques, therefore BioGrad recommend that students without any prior practical laboratory experience consider the 2 week ‘Enhanced Practical Course’ which offers a greater number of opportunities to pass the practical assessment criteria alongside the opportunity to perform in-depth studies that go far beyond the minimum practical requirements. These build a greater understanding of the syllabus and allow students to put the more complicated theory into practice instead of just reading the methods in their textbooks.

Please contact the Head of BioGrad Examination Centre (Kathryn Woods) with any enquiries on course suitability:

E-Mail: Kathryn.Woods@BioGrad.co.uk

Phone: 0151 482 9695

BioGrad Head of Exams

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

10693 - Excel Centre Dalston - London, England
10776 - Catford After School Club - London, England
10777 - Excel Centre New Cross - London, England
10780 - Walworth After School Club - London, England
10780 - Sydenham After School Club - London, England
13261 - Excel Centre Stratford - London, England
13280 - AEC Tutors - London, UK
13289 - Merit Tutors - London, United Kingdom
14123 - WinA Tutorial College - London, UK
25320 - Alpha Tutorials - Leicestershire
29025 - Bridgenorth Endowed - Shropshire, England
29365 - Thomas Adams School
33507 - Ashton Sixth Form College Centre
37601 - Woodhouse Grove School - West Yorkshire, England
54321 - Teign School - Devon
56320 - Beacon Academy - East Sussex, United Kingdom
58116 - Faregos Home Education Group - Hampshire, England
62311 - Cherwell College Oxford - Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
69744 - Basil Paterson College - East Lothian, Scotland
69808 - Merchiston Castle School - East Lothian, Scotland
69854 - Wallace College - East Lothian, Scotland
74694 - TutorASAP International Study Centre, Spain

If your centre of choice is not currently on this list, simply ask them to complete the below form and send it to exams@biograd.co.uk or call 0151 482 9695 for further information.

Exam Centre Application Form

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

BioGrad Biology Assessed Practical Duke of Edinburgh

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.

UCAS References

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 an AQA approved laboratory notebook 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 8-10 students per week. Full board options are available including evening activities. Please contact info@biograd.co.uk 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 exams@biograd.co.uk 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.

Further Information

Accommodation - BioGrad
Evening Activities - BioGrad
Evening Activities
Facilities - BioGrad
BioGrad Facilities
The Team - BioGrad
Meet the Team

For further information please contact us using this form or email us at info@biograd.co.uk.

Course Fees

All payments are taken securely with PayPal. All major debit and credit cards are accepted so you don’t need a PayPal account.

The Basic 5 day package costs £846 per subject. You can reserve your place on this course with a 25% deposit 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.

Course Availability

Date: 11th November - 15th November 2019
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Date: 9th December - 13th December 2019
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Only 10 places left on this course
Date: 24th February - 28th February 2020
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Only 5 places left on this course
Date: 13th April - 17th April 2020
Location: Science Park, Liverpool
Accommodation available?: Yes
Only 7 places left on this course

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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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