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Biology A Level at Kings Norton Girls' School & Sixth Form

Course description

Biology A Level is a two year course, with all assessment at the end of the course.

A Level Biology is a challenging and interesting course which requires precision and analytical skills in addition to developing an understanding of living organisms and their interactions with the environment. Biology sits well alongside other science A Levels or geography, PE or maths. It is also an attractive option for students who do not aim to pursue a scientific career but who have a general interest in science and would like to show breadth in their skill portfolio.

Throughout the course students will conduct practical activities pertaining to Module 1 which contributes to the practical endorsement. The theory lessons also include research opportunities, project and group work taught by Biology specialists.


Visits to lectures at local Universities, field trips to study seashore ecology. Other possible visits include trips to the Natural History Museum and Bodies Alive.

Course content

Module 1- Development of practical skills in biology 1.1 Practical skills assessed in a written examination, 1.2 Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

Module 2 – Foundations in biology 2.1.1 Cell structure, 2.1.2 Biological molecules, 2.1.3 Nucleotides and nucleic acids, 2.1.4 Enzymes, 2.1.5 Biological membranes, 2.1.6 Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation

Module 3 – Exchange and transport 3.1.1 Exchange surfaces, 3.1.2 Transport in animals, 3.1.3 Transport in plants

Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease 4.1.1 Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system, 4.2.1 Biodiversity, 4.2.2 Classification and evolution

Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy 5.1.1 Communication and homeostasis, 5.1.2 Excretion as an example of homeostatic control, 5.1.3 Neuronal communication, 5.1.4 Hormonal communication, 5.1.5 Plant and animal responses, 5.2.1 Photosynthesis, 5.2.2 Respiration

Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems 6.1.1 Cellular control, 6.1.2 Patterns of inheritance, 6.1.3 Manipulating genomes, 6.2.1 Cloning and biotechnology, 6.3.1 Ecosystems, 6.3.2 Populations and sustainability.

Entry requirements

To gain entry to the course it is expected that students have achieved a 7 grade at GCSE Science (additional or separates) and grade 6 at GCSE mathematics. This is to ensure that they are able to access the increased mathematical content (10% of the marks).


Exam Board: OCR Biology A

A Level course: 3 written papers at the end of the A Level course:

1) Biological processes

Modules Assessed: 1,2,3,5  Duration of Exam: 2 hour 15 minutes written paper,  Marks available: 100, % of A Level: 37%

2) Biological diversity

Modules Assessed: 1,2,4,6, Duration of Exam:  2 hour 15 minutes written paper, Marks available: 100, % of A Level: 37%

3) Unified Biology

Modules Assessed: 1,2,3,4,5,6, Duration of exam: 1 hour 30 minutes written paper, Marks available: 70, % of A Level: 26%

Practical endorsement:  Non exam assessment.

The practical component is assessed during the examinations and also provides a certificate of practical endorsement but this does not count toward the exam grade.


Future opportunities

Progression Routes and Careers

Students who study biology have access to a wide variety of choices of university courses including medicine, veterinary sciences. Alternatively biology students can move into career pathways in analytical or medical laboratory sciences or clinical biochemistry. Biologists have access to a wide range of career choices depending on their area of interest involving genetics, medicine, microbiology, land-based and environmental sciences or marine biology.

Further information

Come to one of our Sixth Form Open Events to experience our vibrant and thriving community first hand:

Open Evening - Monday 18th September, 2017 from 5pm - 8pm

Open Morning - Tuesday 19th September, 2017 from 9am - 11am

Meet the Sixth Form and Careers Fair - Wednesday 15th November, 2017 from 3.30pm - 5.30pm

A copy of our application form and prospectus can be downloaded from or by contacting Zoe Nelmes, Sixth Form Administrator –

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Kings Norton Girls' School & Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 28 July 2017
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