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Human Biology AS / A2 at Christ The King College

Course description

Human Biology focuses in the amazing organism that is the human being. A key component of all biological sciences is being able to relate the structures that make up our bodies to the job they fulfil. Hence the course begins with the key structures and processes for transporting substances around our bodies. It then leads into the problems when things go wrong with our bodies when organisms invade it. There is in depth consideration of DNA and cell division and the AS course finishes with reflections on human evolution and adaption. Key biological concepts are presented in real-world, work-related contexts.
Human Biology demands high level literacy skills in order to use the wide range of keywords correctly and coherently but also uses maths skills widely in data analysis. Students will need to be able to present data graphically and be able to produce logical conclusions and also evaluate critically. These skills will be essential in undertaking the AS coursework (worth 20% of the overall AS course).

Course content

The OCR course begins by looking at the blood and how changes in it affect the body.It then moves into studying the circulatory system and the importance of breathing in allowing effective gas exchange and applies this knowledge when looking at the medical conditions that result when things go wrong. The three major disease states that are increasing rapidly in western culture, coronary heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, are also studied in terms of causes and effects on the individual and society. The course then goes onto look at how outside agents such as micro-organisms can also cause disease and what our bodies do to defend themselves. Students delve into the nucleus of the cell, looking at the precise processes required for cell division and how, when things go wrong, diseases such as cancer can result. Finally, the development of the human species is studied both through looking at the evidence from the past and also through the wonders of human adaption that have allowed us as a species to
dominate the planet.

Entry requirements

Human Biology students need a good numerical and literacy grounding to support them in their studies as well as strong foundations across the full range of sciences. There is a general expectation that students should have both GCSE Maths and English grade C and GCSE Science grade B.


For AS Human Biology there are 2 examinations that test the skills and knowledge acquired during the year. Unit 1 is a 1hour paper and is 30% of the overall AS grade, unit 2 is a 1hour 45 minute paper and is 50% of the As grade. Both papers test application of knowledge plus data interpretation and analysis through a range of short answer and long answer questions. There is also coursework which requires three tasks to be completed which involve collecting qualitative data, quantitative data and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of practical work. Candidates will also
be assessed on their practical skills during lessons with marks being awarded for their ability to follow instructions, select appropriate equipment and their safety and organisation skills. Coursework is worth 20% of the AS grade.

Future opportunities

Careers directly linked to Human Biology include Biochemist, Dietician, Geneticist, Cell Biologist, Pharmacist, Anthropologist, Psychologist and the list goes on and on. Equally Human Biology can lead into work in a vast range of other careers which include the pharmaceutical industry, education, health care, medical sales, publishing and accountancy. The skills developed in Human Biology leave a student well rounded and equipped to take on a wide range of challenges.

Further information

Students will have the opportunity to visit the Natural History Museum to talk to real scientists about their research and also visit the Biology departments of local universities.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Christ The King College directly.

Last updated date: 22 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 Years