Biology

Awarding body:

AS (H021) OCR

A Level (H420) OCR

Course content and examination requirements:

The course aims to develop students’ interest in and enjoyment of Life Sciences. They will carry out experiments, study developing areas of Biology such as stem cell research and visit university laboratories. Students both develop and apply their knowledge of Biology and evaluate and link this to data from experiments they carry out in the laboratory.

By the end of Year 13, students should be able to show a broad knowledge of Biology and have a wide understanding of the functions and effects of Life Sciences on the outside world. This will be through interpretation of data using different statistical methods, appreciation of how Biology relates to current medical advances, and through well-developed practical skills. Students will also be able to present their ideas clearly and concisely to others in a public speaking forum.

The Science Department aims to incorporate a range of methods into teaching and learning including group work, presentations, dvds, lectures, visits to museums or other venues as appropriate, the use of IT, as well as individual reading, research and writing. In addition to lessons, students will be expected to complete about six hours of independent study a week.

Year 12 - AS Units

The content is split into four teaching 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

Both components assess content from all modules

Examinations:

  • AS students will sit 2 examinations:
  • Breadth in Biology: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Depth in Biology: 1 hour 30 minutes

Year 13 – A Level Units (full GCE)

The content is split into six teaching 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

Component 01 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.

Component 02 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.

Component 03 assesses content from all modules (1 to 6).

Examinations:

A Level students will sit 3 examinations:

  • Biological processes: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Biological diversity: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Unified Biology: 1hour 30 minutes
  • Practical Endorsement: no exam

Entry requirements:

The minimum requirement is Grade A in either GCSE Dual Science or GCSE Biology.

Students should have a genuine interest in Biology, whilst also having the motivation for independent study.

Relevance to further studies and careers:

Biology is universally recognised as a valuable and versatile A level by institutions and employers because of the transferable skills it develops. As an AS subject, it can be a good choice to enhance skills needed in Sports Science, Mathematics and other Science subjects.

As an A level subject alongside, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics it is perfect for candidates seeking to broaden their studies in preparation for careers in medicine. Traditionally, it can be combined with many other subjects, especially Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Sports Science as well as Geography and Psychology.

Teaching staff / further information:

Mrs M Hegarty

Miss E Cousins