Exam Board OCR                                                    BIOLOGY
Description This is a linear course which will be assessed at the end of two years of study. The course is designed to;
  • develop knowledge and understanding
  • develop skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical and problem-solving skills
  • develop an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society
Course content


Module 1 – Development of Practical skills in Biology

Skills of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation

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, Transport in plants

Module 4 – Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease

Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system, Biodiversity, Classification and evolution.

Module 5 – Communication, Homeostasis and Energy

Communication and homeostasis, Excretion as an example of homeostatic control, Neuronal communication, Hormonal communication, Plant and animal responses, Photosynthesis, Respiration.

Module 6 – Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems

Cellular control, Patterns of inheritance, Manipulating genomes, Cloning and biotechnology, Ecosystems, Populations and sustainability.

Enrichment opportunities
  • Field trip to Wildwood Canterbury to look at conservation, sustainable management, ecosystem sampling, rock shore ecology and sand dune succession
  • Participation in the Biology Olympiad
Assessment Students are assessed by end of term tests, independent work, practical work and homework.

External Assessment

·        Paper 1 – Biological Processes covering modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.  Multiple choice, structured questions and extended response.  2 ¼ hours.  37% weighting.

·        Paper 2 – Biological Diversity covering modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.  Multiple choice, structured questions and extended response.  2 ¼ hours.  37% weighting.

·        Paper 3 – Unified Biology covering modules 1-6. Structured questions and extended response.  1 1/2 hours.  26% weighting.

Candidates complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence with performance reported separately to the A Level grade