LEVEL: 3 A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: OCR
TYPE OF STUDY: FULL-TIME, SIXTH FORM
Biology is a subject that can provide you with great enjoyment and respect for all living things. It introduces you to some of the exciting new advances being made in modern Biology, including the influence of genes on our development, environmental issues and some of the ethical and technological aspects of the subject.
In the first year we cover cell structure, biological molecules, DNA and cell division, enzymes, communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system, biodiversity and classification and evolution.
In the second year of the course we cover homeostasis, excretion, nervous and hormonal communication, plant and animal responses, photosynthesis and respiration as well as some of the newer areas of biology such as cloning, biotechnology and manipulating genomes.
You will develop your mathematical skills to analyse and draw conclusions from a variety of data sources. You will also develop your English skills to enable you to use specialist scientific terminology correctly. You will be expected to work independently outside of the classroom and as the specification is so large you will need a good memory.
We strongly encourage students to take other science A Levels alongside this course in order to strengthen the skills needed to be successful in Biology.
Biology supports a wide range of careers including Medicine, Veterinary Science, Health Care, Food Science, Conservation and Sports Science.
The thing I really enjoy about Biology is how in-depth it is at A Level, which I find very intriguing but also quite challenging. The wide range of practical sessions really helps balance out the class work element and makes all the lessons enjoyable.
George Piper, Biology student
On this course you will study the following topics:
- Cell structure and Membranes
- Gas Exchange and Transport
- Classification and Evolution
- Communication and Homeostasis
- Cloning and Biotechnology
- Manipulating Genomes
5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English at grade 5 or above, and Mathematics and Biology (Science) at grade 6 or above.
Is there a Human Biology course?
There is no Human Biology A Level available. However, a large proportion of the Biology course content is made up of human or mammalian biology. Universities like to see you have studied some plants and micro-organisms too.
Is there much practical work?
Yes! As much as possible. We offer a wide range of practicals to consolidate your learnt theory and this helps our students to perform particularly well in exam questions based around practicals. We also offer a field trip to Braunton Burrows to study sand dune succession.
In Biology there is a lot to learn and many practical experiments to do. I find Biology enjoyable, especially when we do microscopy practicals. Biology is also very beneficial for my future career and for myself as I learn about the human anatomy, diseases and general information that can aid me.
Zaira Cordero, Biology student
Coming to Huish, I’m grateful to have a teacher like Alison who is always open to helping anyone in our class and who always offers her time for us. I’d say anyone taking it should definitely be organised and enjoy biology enough to be prepared for the amount of information that you will need to know for the exams. My favourite parts of biology are definitely the dissections!
Marie Mandigal, Biology student