Want to study the science of life?

  • Biology unifies much of natural life
  • Biology attempts to define life
  • Biology reveals a hierarchical organisation of living systems

Biology is the scientific study of life itself.  It involves knowledge of the wide range of living things and an understanding of the life processes that they all share in common.  These processes, collectively termed metabolism, enable species to survive in their environment, to reproduce and to evolve.  This course is aimed at people who want to know more about how the living organisms function both within themselves and within the environment in which they live.  It can lead on to a variety of careers in the medical field of environmental biology, or support study on to a variety of applied degrees.

Method of assessment

 For year 13 there are three exams, two of which are 2hrs 15 minutes in duration covering the content. There are short answer questions, long answer questions and multiple choice questions.

There will be a third exam, 1h 30 min in duration unifying concepts across Biology.

Year 12 – development of practical skills embedded throughout the content of the specification.  In addition “How Science Works” and mathematical requirements are integrated throughout. Assessment of these skills is through the terminal exam

A level – practical endorsement reported separately but no grade weighting. 12 specific practical skill areas assessed throughout the course.

Topic areas covered

 Year 12

Four teaching modules:

  1. Development of practical skills in Biology.
  2. Foundations in Biology (cells, biological molecules, enzymes, membranes).
  3. Exchange and transport
  4. Biodiversity evolution and disease

Year 13

Split into six teaching modules:

  1. Development of practical skills
  2. Foundations in Biology
  3. Exchange and transport
  4. Biodiversity, evolution and disease
  5. Communication, homeostasis and energy
  6. Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

Level: A level

Board: OCR

Acting head of department:
Mr P Collins

Dr S Benskin (lead teacher)
Mrs K Freeston
Miss M Aldridge