Exam Board – OCR
Qualification – A Level
Entry requirements – 5 x GCSEs at grades 9-4, including grade 5 in English, grade 5 mathematics, grade 6/6 combined science or grade 6 biology

Biology is a branch of science that deals with living organisms and their vital processes. Biology encompasses diverse fields, including botany, conservation, ecology, evolution, genetics, marine biology, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, physiology, and zoology.

A Level Biology will stimulate an interest and understanding of biological facts and principles and foster an appreciation of the contribution of the subject to today’s society -laying the groundwork for further study in courses such as biological sciences and medicine.

Course content year 1

  • Module 1: development of practical skills – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course. The practical skills in this module are assessed within written examinations .
  • Module 2: foundations in biology – cell structure , biological molecules , nucleotides and nucleic acids , enzymes , biological membranes , cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation .
  • Module 3: exchange and transport – exchange surfaces, transport in animals and plants.
  • Module 4: biodiversity, evolution and disease – communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system, biodiversity, classification and evolution.

Course content year 2

  • Module 5: communications, homeostasis and energy – communication and homeostasis, excretion as an example of homeostatic control, neuronal communication, hormonal communication, plant and animal responses, photosynthesis and respiration.
  • Module 6: genetics, evolution and ecosystems – cellular control, patterns of inheritance, manipulating genomes, cloning and biotechnology, ecosystems, populations and sustainability.


To attain an A Level you will be examined on year 1 and year 2 content.

Assessment will be covered by three examination papers in the summer of year 13.

A Level Practical Endorsement (non examination) is reported separately as pass/fail.

Candidates complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence, although as a practical course you can expect to complete many more.