Learning Together For The Future


Exam Board: OCR

Contact: Mrs P. Bamber

Course Overview

A Level Biology gives an exciting insight into the contemporary world of biology. The OCR course enables students to develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to one another. Learners gain an appreciation of scientific methods, as well as practical and mathematical problem solving skills which will support their development as future scientists.

Biology is a ‘subject for life’; new discoveries are being made all of the time relating to health, drugs, fighting disease and agriculture. The course aims to develop an awareness of the advances in technology including information technology, relevant to biology and to recognise the value and responsibility of biology in society.

Students’ enthusiasm will be stimulated and independent learning, research skills and practical skills will be promoted. They will develop skills in information and data collection, analysis, evaluation and understanding with the subject encouraging critical thinking, teamwork, as well as presentation and research skills; attributes necessary for further academic study and employment.

The course is delivered across 6 teaching modules. Year 1 modules lay a foundation in the fundamental principles of biology through study of cells, organisation of living things and biological molecules. Exchange surfaces and transport systems in plants and animals are studied in detail followed by a module covering biodiversity and evolution and disease and the immune response. Year 2 modules build on the core concepts developing detailed knowledge and understanding of communication systems, homeostasis and energy transfer. Unit 6 covers cellular control, inheritance, biotechnology and genetic engineering with the second half of the module spent studying ecosystems and sustainability. Development of practical skills occurs through the course including planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation. An integral part of the course is field work. The students are encouraged to attend a residential course during the summer term of Year 12 to develop understanding of ecology, biodiversity and conservation. Ecological investigation techniques, statistical analysis and data interpretation skills are also covered.

Entry Requirements:

General Entry Requirements* plus GCSE Combined Science: 5, 5 (6 desirable) or GCSE Separate Sciences: Grade 5 in Biology (6 desirable), and grade 5 in either Chemistry or Physics plus GCSE English 5 (6 desirable) plus GCSE Maths 5 (6 desirable)

*General Entry Requirements = 5 GCSES 4-9 or A*-C to include Maths and English Lang or Lit Grade 5

Where can Biology take me?

Biology is an entry level qualification for a variety of Post 18 courses including Medicine and professions allied to medicine including Nursing, Physiotherapy and Radiography. Dentistry, Veterinary Science and degree courses in Biochemistry, Natural Sciences, Pharmacology, Ecology and Marine Biology are among those studied by former A level Biology students.

During the course you will have opportunity to discuss Post 18 options and to meet a variety of professionals working in different fields of biology including medical consultants and research ecologists.


% of Course
Exam 1 - Biological processes
Exam 2 - Biological diversity
Exam 3 - Unified Biology
2 hour 15 written paper
2 hour 15 written paper
1 hour 30 written paper
Exams will assess content from a combination of modules 1-6.
Practical endorsement in Biology - non exam assessment.
Assessment of common practical assessment criteria including: following procedures, applying investigative approaches, safe working, making and recording observation and research, referencing and reporting.

Contact: Mr M. Ford

If you have any questions or queries relating to the Science curriculum please email for more information.