A-Level Biology

Biology is the scientific study of life.  Discovering how your body works and how it fits in with other living things is key to the sustainability of the human race and our planet.  During the course, you will get the chance to delve deeper into why things are the way they are.

A good grade in biology A level is a requirement for university courses such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary science.  A level Biology also provides a useful background to a wider variety of Higher Education courses.  With an A-level in Biology you could go on to study: radiography, nursing, physiotherapy, pharmacology, pharmacy, psychology, forensic science, archaeology, marine biology, ecology, sports studies, biochemistry, accountancy, law or even teacher training.

Course Aims

  1. To develop interest and enthusiasm for biology, including developing an interest in further study and careers in biology;
  2. To appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society;
  3. To develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of How Science Works;
  4. To develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of biology and how they relate to each other.

Course Outline

OCR Biology A is split into six modules: Modules 1 to 4 constitute the stand-alone AS-Level qualification (one year); Modules 1 to 6, combined with Practical Endorsement, constitute the full A-Level (two years).  The modules can be summarised as:

Module 1

Development of practical skills
This module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills required throughout the course.  These practical skills will be assessed in exam papers and within the Practical Endorsement (for A-Level only).

Module 2

Foundations in Biology
Cell structure; Biological molecules; Nucleotides and nucleic acids; Enzymes; Biological membranes; Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation.

Module 3

Exchange and transport
Exchange surfaces; Transport in animals; Transport in plants.

Module 4

Biodiversity, evolution and disease
Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system; Biodiversity; Classification and evolution.

Module 5

Communication, homeostasis and energy
Communication and homeostasis; Excretion; Nerves; Hormones; Plant and animal responses; Photosynthesis; Respiration.

Module 6

Genetics, evolution and ecosystems
Cellular control; Inheritance; Manipulating genomes; Cloning and biotechnology; Ecosystems; Sustainability.

Entry Requirements

Grade 5 and above in Triple or Double Science
Grade 5 and above in Mathematics GCSE