Biology is one of the most popular A Level courses in the country, attracting students studying a wide range of other subjects. Many of these students enjoy the subject so much, they eventually choose a biologically related degree course such as Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Optometry, Nursing, but also Marine Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, Food Technology, Microbiology, Forensic Science, Conservation, and Environmental Science. Biology is mutually supporting of Chemistry or Geography. Others go on to careers in Law, Computing, Accounting and Teaching. So, whatever field you eventually work in, you will find Biology a rewarding and challenging course which will develop many of the skills needed for a successful career.
Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from micro-organisms to mammoths. The course builds on practical skills gained at GCSE and includes advanced training in How Science Works.
You will be tested on practical skills that are completed in lessons within the Biology exam itself. Biology involves an extremely large amount of independent learning due to the huge number of technical terms and complex concepts that must be understood before they can be applied. Students must be prepared to put in a significant amount of time reviewing their work and background reading. You are examined on application of your knowledge in often unknown biological circumstances; this subject is therefore not always a straightforward recall of facts.
During the two year A Level course with OCR, students will study the following topics:
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
The A Level is assessed by three written exams at the end of the course.
To study this course, you are expected to achieve a Grade 7 or higher in GCSE/IGCSE Biology, or a Grade 7 in Double Science with a Grade 7 in the Biology components. Also, at least Grade 6 in GCSE Maths and English.
You could take this course to complement other Advanced Level courses that may overlap with Biology, which could lead onto Higher Education in Science related subjects, or more general Higher Education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to Biology such as a Doctor, Nurse, Science Technician or Marine Biologist. It will help you to develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for. You could take this course with other Advanced Level courses, which overlap with Biology such as Chemistry, Applied Science, Physics, Geography, Geology or more general subjects that may not relate to the Sciences, to prepare for Higher Education.