The course will allow students to develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject as well as appreciate how society influences decisions about scientific issues.

Learners are encouraged to develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of biology and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods. The OCR A Level Biology builds upon some topics covered at Key Stage Four, whilst introducingstudents to new concepts. The topics covered include:

Living Systems, Biological Molecules, Enzymes, Cell Division, Exchange & Transport in Plants & Animals, Biodiversity, Evolution and Communicable Diseases covered in six modules. The specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of biology. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed through the written papers.


Year 1

  • Module 1: Development of practical skills in biology
  • Module 2: Foundations in biology
  • Module 3: Exchange and transport
  • Module 4: Biodiversity, evolution and disease

Year 2

  • Module 5: Communication, homeostasis and energy
  • Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems


There is an internal assessment at the end of year 12. Biology A Levels are fully linear so external assessment of students’ knowledge and understanding will take place at the end of the two years of study. The three external exams are as follows:

  • Paper 1 Biological Processes”. Content from module 1, 2, 3 and 5. Two Hours and 15 minutes - 37% weighting.
  • Paper 2 Biological Diversity”. Content from module 1, 2, 4 and 6. Two Hours and 15 Minutes - 37% weigthing.
  • Paper 3 Unified Biology” content from modules 1-6 One Hour 30 minutes - 26% weigthing.

There is no coursework component to the A Level examinations.

There are 12 compulsory practicals which will be assessed internally throughout the two years. Practical content will also comprise some of the exam material assessed in all three papers (1, 2 & 3).


Mrs A Houston: (HOF)
Ms C Cook: (HOD)