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Biology

Biology

Entry Requirements

An average Attainment 8 score of 5.5 as well as a Grade 5 in English Language or Literature and Grade 6 in Maths. In addition to this an A in Biology and B in 2 other sciences is required if you have taken Triple Science, or an A Grade in both Core and Additional Science.

Expectations/Resources

There is a huge difference in the amount of time you will need to devote to your A Level studies compared to GCSE. You should spend at least one hour after every lesson consolidating your learning, assessing what you have learnt during that lesson and what you need to review with your teacher next lesson. This is in addition to any independent learning, assessed work and practical tasks that will be set weekly.

You should have your own scientific calculator and a subject revision guide.

Why study Biology at A Level?

In studying Biology at A Level you will begin to appreciate the living world, to sense the wonder of evolution, to catch the excitement of gene technology, to think independently, to challenge widely-held beliefs and to understand the delicate ecological balance that sustains life on Earth. Biology is a subject which is never out of the news – think of genetic engineering, global warming, endangered species, GM foods, organ transplants, cloning; the list is endless and is growing every day.

Biology at A Level provides an excellent basis for higher education courses from Medicine to Marine Biology, Physiotherapy to Psychology as well as providing you with a wide range of useful skills which are transferable to any subject or field of work. Biology can stand alone as a science subject and is also complementary to Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Sports Science in addition to the usual subjects of Chemistry, Physics and Maths.

The Course

The structure of the Biology A Level has changed, with the new reformed course having been introduced in September 2015. The reformed course is designed to better prepare students for the challenges of their university course and future employment. The content of the new A Level builds on the previously taught courses, but have been reviewed and adapted to reflect the constant evolution of our understanding of biological concepts. The structure of the assessment has also changed, although students will still be required to prepare for and sit external exams in the summer of the second year, alongside completing a series of practical tasks.

The website below gives further information on the structure and content of the new A Level Biology course:

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-biology-a-h020-h420-from-2015/

How will you be assessed?

Three external exams, all 2 hours in duration.  Paper 1 and Paper 2 are each worth 100 marks and 37% of the final A Level.
Paper 3 is worth 70 marks and is 26% of the final A Level.  You will also need to complete a programme of compulsory practical activities in order to achieve the practical endorsement in Biology.

Exam board: OCR