Biology


LEVEL: A Level – Linear

EXAM BOARD: OCR

WHY CHOOSE BIOLOGY?

Studying biology will enable you to appreciate the complexity of the living world ranging from whole ecosystems right down to the molecules that form life itself. It is an intellectually demanding, yet, rewarding subject.

In the first year of the course we will begin by studying the fundamentals of biology. This will take us through the complex molecules that living organisms use to form the structures within their cells. We will look in detail at the cell and how it is organized to carry out the processes for life. Following on from this we will study the heart and lungs through the use of dissection to learn how substances enter and are moved around the body. Studying evolution, evolutionary relationships and biodiversity will impress on you the importance of bringing all that you have learned over the year together to see biology as a far-reaching yet interconnected subject. There is a strong practical basis to the course which includes a residential field trip to study ecology during the summer term where much of what you have learned in the classroom can be put into a real life context.

The second year of the course builds on your studies from year one. You will be expected to apply what you already know to a range of fascinating areas such as the process by which organisms make high energy molecules in photosynthesis and how that energy is released to perform vital functions in respiration. You will study genetic inheritance, the control of gene expression and also consider the ethical implications of genetic engineering, amongst other technologies, that will have

AIMS OF THE COURSE

You will develop the skills of the science of life from a molecular level through to the interaction of organisms in ecosystems. You will also learn the skills needed to understand how ideas are developed.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

Year 1: Cell structure, division and differentiation; Biological molecules; Enzymes; Exchange and transport; Biodiversity; Evolution; Disease.
Year 2: Communication; Homeostasis; Respiration and photosynthesis; Cellular control and inheritance; Biotechnology; Ecosystems; Populations and sustainability.

In addition, we develop practical skills in biology throughout the two years.

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

For AS, two exams at the end of Year 1:
Breadth in Biology (1h 30m; 50%)
Depth in Biology (1h 30m; 50%)

For A2, three exams at the end of Year 2:
Biological Processes (2h 15m; 37%)
Biological Diversity (2h 15m; 37%)
Unified Biology (1h 30m; 26%)

SUGGESTED READING:

We provide course text books for a deposit of £20 per year (fully refundable on the return of the books in appropriate condition)

WHERE CAN IT LEAD?

Biology is an important subject for many science based courses and careers. The range of professions the course can lead to includes those linked to medicine, plants or animals. Specific careers could include dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, pharmaceuticals,biotechnology, research, zoology, psychology, physiotherapy, nursing, botany and environmental science.