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A Level Biology

This course is suitable for students with an interest in the living world, the human body, health, sport and/or the environment.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and usually Mathematics.

This must include Double Science at grade B or above and Mathematics and English at grade C, preferably grade B.

Course Content

We offer two choices when studying Biology A Level at South Downs College; OCR Specification A, and OCR Specification B. Click here to learn the difference between the two.

Both specifications contain a ‘Practical Skills’ and ‘Data Handling’ module where you will:

  • Carry out experimental and investigative activities, including appropriate risk management in a range of biological contexts.
  • Analyse and interpret data to provide evidence, recognise correlations and causal relationships, and use statistical tests.
  • Evaluate methodology, evidence and data.

Both Specifications also include:

Year 1
Cells, exchange and transport –Cells and microscopes, tissues organs and organ systems. Respiratory and transport systems in mammals. Transport of materials in and out of cells. Plant transport systems.

Molecules, biodiversity, food and health – Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, water and enzymes. DNA and RNA. Human parasites and pathogens and defence against disease. Plant diseases. The study of biodiversity, habitats, classification and evolution.

Year 2
Communication, homeostasis and energy –Plant and animal hormones, and nervous systems. Homeostasis and excretion. Photosynthesis and respiration.

Control, genomes and environment –Inheritance and genetic technologies. Artificial selection and biotechnology using microorganisms and enzymes to make useful products.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught in well-equipped and serviced laboratories where a variety of learning opportunities and teaching styles will be provided through lectures, problem solving, data handling, experimental and observational tasks. This course also contains statistical analysis.

How will I be assessed?

Students will be assessed through externally marked examinations in the summer term of the second year. There is no coursework.

Will I need any extra equipment?

You will need an A4 folder, A4 lined paper, and a scientific calculator.

What qualifications will I get?

Upon successful completion of both years of the course, students will be awarded an A Level in Biology.

What will it allow me to do in the future?

A good A Level pass in a science-based subject will assist you to progress to a wide range of Higher Education courses and careers.

This could include careers in fields such as health, sport and the environment.

Course Information



Further Information

All information was accurate at the time of publishing, and may be subject to change.

For general College enquiries, please call 023 9279 7979 or email college@southdowns.ac.uk.

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