Exam Board & Code: OCR H021 and H421 Length of Course: 2 years to full A level

What is Biology A level about?

The specification is divided into topics each containing key concepts.  These include biochemistry, mammalian physiology, health and disease, biotechnology and ecosystems and sustainability. Within each section are included subjects which are having a significant impact on the living world in the twenty first century. The course incorporates extensive practical work which is both incorporated into the theoretical topics and also assessed separately.

Is this course for me?

For the successful study of A level Biology you will need to have achieved and preferably exceeded the minimum academic standards set our in our sixth form entry requirements.

What else do I need to know?

This is a demanding course which combines in depth theory with extensive practical work. Success depends on students taking an active role in their learning.  Students will benefit from taking A level chemistry enabling them to understand the biochemistry section of both AS and A2 course. The course does include a field course in Devon at the end of year 12 costing in the region of £350

What do other students say?

The syllabus is varied so everybody finds something they really enjoy.
The field course is great, brilliant to be able to discuss ecology when you have actually been there and seen it in action.

Where could it lead?

Biology is a requirement for those thinking of doing Medicine, Veterinary Science, Research and Development, Sports Science, Physiotherapy and many other associated courses at university. 

How is this course structured?

Unit overview

6 modules

Assessment overview

4 assessments covering 6 modules

1 - Development of practical skills in biology  
2 – Foundations in biology

Biological processes (modules 1,2,3 and 5); 100 marks; 

2 hours 15 minutes written paper; 37% of total A level

3 – Exchange and transport

Biological diversity (modules 1,2,4 and 6); 100 marks; 

2 hours 15 minutes written paper; 37% of total A level

4 - Biodiversity, evolution and disease

Unified biology (modules 1 to 6); 70 marks; 1hr 30 minutes written paper; 26% of total A level

5 – Communication

Practical endorsement in biology; Non exam assessment – reported separately

6 - Genetics, evolution and ecosystems