Biology along with the other sciences is one of the most challenging subjects that you can study at A level. To succeed you need to have an organized approach to your studies, be willing to ask questions, be prepared to learn new skills and be prepared to apply your knowledge from Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics to living organisms. In return, you will gain training in practical skills and gain knowledge of how complex living organisms work.
You will learn theory and develop practical skills throughout the course. Your work in class will be supported by practice questions completed at home and revision classes as examinations approach.
The course is divided into 6 modules.
Module 1- Development of practical skills in Biology.
Module 2- Foundations in Biology.
Module 3- Exchange and Transport
Module 4- Biodiversity, Evolution and disease
Module 5- Communication, Homeostasis and Energy
Module 6- Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems.
The OCR course (Biology A) is linear . To achieve the full A level all exams will be completed in Year 13. A stand-alone AS is available at the end of Year 12 where only modules 1 to 4 are examined.
Students are expected to have gained minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 and above and at least a grade 6 in GCSE Biology or in combined Science.
Recommended support materials and revision guides
There are course specific text books available. In addition to this, students are encouraged to purchase a revision guide such as the CGP guide, written specifically for the Biology A course.
Examination arrangements and weightings
Paper 1 written exam – 2 hours 15 minutes 37%
Paper 2 written exam – 2 hours 15 minutes 37%
Paper 3 written exam – 1 hour 30 minutes 26%
In addition, students may sit a stand-alone AS level at the end of Year 12, by sitting:
Paper 1 written exam – 1 hour 30 minutes 50%
Paper 2 written exam – 1 hour 30 minutes 50%
Biology develops a wide range of skills – manipulating apparatus, analysing information, drawing conclusions and evaluating data and procedures. Biology can lead to a wide range of careers; for example: medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medical research, drug development, pharmacy and many more.