Accessibility links

Biology AS Level (OCR) at Hackney Community College

Course description

You will learn about cells and tissues, macromolecules and their biochemistry, homeostasis, the nervous system, respiration and the lungs including the role of haemoglobin and health etc. You will also gain experience in the laboratory where you will develop your skills to examine and identify tissues, proteins and other biological substances. At AS you will study cells and tissues with an emphasis on the structure of both plant and animal tissue in terms of transport (e.g.) the cardiovascular system as a mechanism of transport, the phloem and xylem system of the plant. You will also study the lungs, respiration including the oxygen dissociation curve and Hb bonding, as well as the cell cycle. DNA, microorganisms, disease and immunology and biodiversity.

Course content

In biology all of the teaching is carried out in a fully equipped, highly resourced specialist biology laboratory. You will learn by a combination of formal teaching in the biology laboratory as well as the use of research using IT, tests, assessed practicals, experimental procedures, topic presentation to peers as well as note taking. Part of your learning includes use of ICT in the classroom and laboratory via laptops, use of the library and answering questions from the course text book and hand-outs. The one hour biology workshop will also help you improve your understanding of the subject, as well as improve your exam technique over the course of the year. Your learning also takes place outside of the laboratory in the form of trips to the science museum, and attendance at the OCR Biology unit conferences held in December and/or April put on by the exam board.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at grade A-C including an overall B in science, English and Maths. Other qualifications (including overseas equivalents) will be considered.


A Levels are assessed by a combination of an assessed practical as coursework (unit 6) and terminal written exam papers. The coursework comprises 20% of the total mark, and consists of a series of experiments from which your best marks are chosen. The written exams take place in May/June and make up the remaining marks for a maximum of 100%.

Financial information

·         16-18 year-olds do not have to pay tuition fees on FE courses

·         many 16-18 year-olds may be eligible to receive a bursary

·         many 16-18 year-olds can receive a Free College Meals pass (depending on eligibility)

·         Transport for London student travel cards are available.

·         Re-sits, CRB fees and other incidental costs are to be paid when due.

Future opportunities

A2 Level Biology.

Further information

Before you start your lessons, you’ll take part in induction sessions, where you’ll meet other students and find out all about the support that’s available to you. This includes learning about the Virtual Learning Environment, tutorials and the campus facilities. All students can receive free, confidential and impartial advice on things like: your next step in education or your career, finance, housing, health, immigration, benefit claims, legal problems, sexual health, drugs, staying safe, personal / emotional concerns and other issues. As a student of HCC Sixth Form, you are entitled to additional learning support if you need it. For many students additional support is provided on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. This is very beneficial to your learning as it is a mechansim by which you can develop your literacy and numeracy skills and so improve your chances of success on the course. Subject specific workshops are available after the October half term as one hour sessions per week to assist and support your learning.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hackney Community College directly.

Last updated date: 13 April 2016
Provider logo

Key information