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The OCR (Specification A) A-Level Biology course is designed to be a natural continuation of GCSE Biology, with an emphasis on developing your subject knowledge and exploring modern applications within biology.  If you have an interest in the study of living organisms and enjoy practical investigations in the laboratory or as fieldwork, you will find the content of the course both rewarding and demanding.  In addition to classroom theory and practical lessons, there will be visits to relevant establishments and practical ecology excursions.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for the course is grade 7 or above at GCSE Biology or equivalent grades at GCSE Double Award Science. We would, however recommend a grade 8 or above. Sound mathematical skills are also required, as is a working knowledge of chemistry and physics. 

Course overview

Module 1: Development of practical skills in biology

Module 2: Foundations in biology

Module 3: Exchange and transport

Module 4: Biodiversity, evolution and disease

Module 5: Communication, homeostasis and energy

Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems


Assessment Overview

Paper 1: Biological processes (modules 1,2,3 & 5), 2hr 15mins, 37%

Paper 2: Biological diversity (modules 1,2,4 & 6), 2hr 15mins, 37%

Paper 3: Unified biology (all modules), 1 hr 30mins, 26%

Non-exam: Practical Endorsement for biology: Reported separately (does not count towards the A-Level)

Teaching of practical skills is an integral part of the course and Sixth-Formers will be required to develop their skills (planning, implementation, analysis and evaluation) in preparation for the written examinations.  Coursework no longer exists and has been replaced with Practical Endorsement for biology.  Throughout the two year course, Sixth-Formers’ practical competence (use of particular apparatus and techniques) will be recorded and assessed internally, by staff at Kent College. 

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