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Key Stage 5 Biology


OCR Advanced Subsidiary (AS) GCE in Biology H021

OCR Advanced (A2) GCE in Biology


Why study Biology at A level?
Biology is a subject which is never out of the news. Just think of gene technology, global warming, endangered species, GM foods, transplants, B.S.E., cloning. The list is endless and is growing every day. Biology at A-level provides an excellent basis for higher education courses from Medicine to Marine biology, Physiotherapy to Psychology as well as providing you with a wide range of useful skills which are transferable to any subject or field of work. Biology can ‘stand alone’ as a Science subject amongst more ‘Art’ orientated subjects and is complementary to Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Sports Science in addition to the usual suspects of Chemistry, Physics and Maths.
What grades do I need at GCSE?
You should expect to achieve Grade BB in GCSE Science/Additional Science, or Grade B GCSE Biology and Grade B in Maths and Grade C in English. In addition you should be prepared to apply your scientific knowledge and understanding to new topics and to the application of Biology in the world today. Above all you will need to be keen to learn, in much more detail, how living things work and interact with each other and their environment.
Recommended prior learning for the A2 course is successful performance at Advanced Subsidiary Biology.
What will I study on this course?
AS Level OCR H021
Module 1: Cells, Exchange and Transport
Module 2: Molecules, Biodiversity, Food and Health
Module 3: Practical skills in Biology 1
A Level OCR H421
Module 4: Communications, Homeostasis and Energy
Module 5: Control, Genomes and Environment
Module 6: Practical skills in Biology 2
The three GCE Biology units in otht he AS and A2 are mandatory. Two units are externally assessed, one is internally assessed and includes the assessment of practical skills. The AS units form 50% of the corresponding six-unit Advanced GCE.
When are the exams?
AS Level
Written exams are based on two modules -
Module 1 Examined in January
Module 2 Examined in June
Module 3 Completion Date to Board May
A level
Module 4 Examined in January
Module 5 Examined in June
Module 6 Completion Date to Board May 15th
What will you gain?
The aims of these specifications are to encourage candidates to:
develop their interest in and enthusiasm for biology, including developing an interest in further study and careers in biology; appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society e.g economic issues relevant to discussions on the need to maintain and preserve biodiversity; moral, ethical, social and cultural implications of some of the applications of biology and technology e.g legal issues relating to genetic engineering develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of How Science Works; develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of biology and how they relate to each other e.g the role of biology in describing the structure and functioning of the natural world.



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