Biology


AS Level Biology (H020)* / A Level Biology (H420)*

*Note from September 2015 these are no longer awarded with AS level being a part of progression to A level but are taken as separate courses. However they will be taught at the same time as the content and assessment are the same.

Introduction

A Level Biology A will give you an exciting insight into the contemporary world of biology. It covers the key concepts of biology and practical skills are integrated throughout the course. This combination of academic challenge and practical focus makes the prospect of studying A Level Biology A highly appealing.  You will learn about the core concepts of biology and about the impact of biological research and how it links to everyday life. You will learn to apply your knowledge, investigate and solve problems in a range of contexts.

Exam Board

  • OCR Specification A

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of a Grade B in GCSE Double Award Science / Triple Award Biology and also a Grade B in GCSE English and a Grade B in GCSE Mathematics

Modules: AS Level/A Level

  • 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

**Indicates modules studied at AS level.

Assessment

AS Level

Breadth in biology (01) - Comprises of a 1 hour 30 minutes written paper worth 70 marks and provides 50% of the total AS level.

Depth in biology (02) - Comprises of a 1 hour 30 minutes written paper worth 70 marks and provides 50% of the total AS level.
Both components assess content from all four modules.

A Level

Biological processes (01) - assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5. Comprises of a 2 hour 15 minutes written paper worth 100 marks and provides 37% of the total A level.

Biological diversity (02) - assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6. Comprises of a 2 hour 15 minutes written paper worth 100 marks and provides 37% of the total A level.
Unified biology (03) - assesses content from all modules (1 to 6). Comprises of a 1 hour 30 minutes written paper worth 70 marks and provides 26% of the total A level.

Practical endorsement in biology (04) (non-exam assessment) Reported separately. To achieve a Pass within the Practical Endorsement, candidates must have completed a minimum of 12 assessed practical activities (covering all of categories 1 to 12) and achieved the level of competence defined within the Common Practical Assessment Criteria

Progression routes from this course

A Level Biology A is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare, such as medicine, veterinary or dentistry, as well as the biological sciences, such as biochemistry, molecular biology or forensic science. Biology can also complement sports science, psychology, sociology and many more. A Level Biology A can open up a range of career opportunities including: biological research, medical, environmental, forensics, sports and science communication. The transferable skills you will learn, such as problem solving, are also useful for many other areas, such as law.