Biology: A Level


Exam board:  OCR

What is the course about?

Are you fascinated by the living world and want to know how it all works, from biological molecules to organ systems, from the evolution of species to entire ecosystems? Then A level biology is the subject for you. Whether you are more interested in the biochemistry of proteins and enzymes, or the physiology of nervous and circulatory systems or immunology and biomedicine, A level biology will give you an in-depth introduction preparing you for higher education and career options. Biology at LSC is about developing a depth of biological knowledge, practical expertise and opportunities for wider engagement with the subject.


Duration of course:

2 years.


What units/topics will be studied?

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in biology, including organ dissection,
electrophoresis, colorimetry and microbiological techniques

Module 2 – Foundations in biology: cell structure, biological molecules, enzymes,
membranes and cell division

Module 3 – Exchange and transport: transport in animals (circulatory system),
transport in plants (xylem and phloem)

Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease: infectious diseases (HIV,
tuberculosis), the immune system, biodiversity (extinction and conservation) and

Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy: the nervous and endocrine
systems, photosynthesis and respiration

Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems: control of gene expression, genetic
inheritance, genetic engineering, ecology and sustainability


What do I need to study this subject?

6 in Maths and 5 English language as well as 6/6 in Double Science. You also need an average GCSE score of 34 or above.


What can I do to prepare myself to study this subject?

• A level biology builds upon many topics introduced at GCSE. Make sure you spend time to understand your GCSE Science content, not just memorise it!
• CGP publish the ‘Head Start to’ series of revision guides which include ‘Head Start to A-level Biology’
• You can visit OCR’s A level Biology website and browse the A level Biology A specification to find out more about what you’ll be learning


Where can this lead me?

Many of our students go on to study Biology-related subjects such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Optometry, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Sciences and Biochemistry. However, Biology is a facilitating subject and is therefore highly valued by universities for a wide range of degree courses. Do note, however, that to study a science at degree level, you are often required to study two sciences at A-level.


What are the enrichment opportunities as part of this subject?

• We enter first-year students into the Royal Society of Biology’s national Intermediate Biology Olympiad, a chance to expand and deepen your biological knowledge and get a prestigious prize.
• We take students to biology-themed lectures and exhibitions, where students can learn about cutting edge research from biology experts
• Wider reading is embedded into our Biology course, taking you way beyond the confines of the textbook and specification