Biology A-Level

Exam board: OCR Biology A

Curriculum Content in each year


Module 1: Development of practical skills in biology

  • Practical skills assessed in a written examination.
  • Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

Module 2: Foundations in biology Cell structure

  • Biological molecules
  • Nucleotides and nucleic acids
  • Enzymes
  • Biological membranes
  • Cell division
  • cell diversity
  • 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 as an example of homeostatic control
  • Neuronal communication
  • Hormonal communication
  • Plant and animal responses
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration

Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

  • Cellular control
  • Patterns of inheritance
  • Manipulating genomes
  • Cloning and biotechnology
  • Ecosystems
  • Populations and sustainability.

How it will be taught: Biology is 100% externally assessed and there is no coursework or controlled assessments. However, you will be required to develop a range of practical skills throughout their course in preparation for the written examinations. You will also apply this knowledge in a theoretical and practical context when handling qualitative and quantitative data. In addition, you will analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence to make judgements and reach conclusions and develop and refine practical design and procedures.

Assessment: There are 3 exams totalling 6 hours of exam assessment. Biological processes (2 hours 15 minutes) assesses content from Modules 1,2,3 and 5. Biological diversity (2 hours 15 minutes) assesses content from 1,2,4 and 6, and unified biology (1 hour 30 minutes) assesses content from all modules 1-6.

Specific entry requirements (to be able to get onto the course): Minimum of grade 6 in Biology or a grade 7 in combined science.

Future opportunities: The A-Level Biology course will prepare you for progression to undergraduate study, enabling you to enter a range of academic and vocational careers in biological sciences, medicine and biomedical sciences, veterinary science, agriculture and related sectors. Biology qualifications are either necessary or desirable for further study in many areas, most commonly: Medicine, Agriculture, Histology, Veterinary Science, Forestry Sport Science, Dentistry,  Forensics,  Food Technology, Ophthalmics,  Pharmacy/Pharmacology,  Environmental Science,  Physiotherapy, Nursing,  Nature Conservation,  Zoology,  Child Care,  Research,  Botany.


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