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Biology AS/A-Level at Haydon School

Course description

The specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of biology. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed through the written papers. Learners are encouraged to: develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of biology and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods. The course will allow pupils to develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject as well as appreciate how society influences decisions about scientific issues.

Course content

The OCR A Level Biology builds upon some topics covered at Key Stage Four, whilst introducing pupils to new concepts. The topics covered include: Living Systems, Biological Molecules, Enzymes, Cell Division, Exchange & Transport in Plants & Animals, Biodiversity, Evolution and Communicable Diseases covered in six modules.


There is an internal assessment at the end of year 12. Biology A Levels are fully linear so external assessment of students’ knowledge and understnading will take place at the end of the two years of study. The three external exams are as follows:

Paper 1 - Biological Processes - content from module 1, 2, 3 and 5. Two Hours and 15 minutes - 37% weighting. 

Paper 2 - Biological Diversity - content from module 1, 2, 4 and 6. Two Hours and 15 Minutes - 37% weigthing. 

Paper 3 - unified Biology - content from modules 1-6 One Hour 30 minutes - 26% weigthing. 

There is no coursework component to the A Level examinations . 

There are 12 compulsory practicals which will be assessed internally throughout the two years. Practical content will also comprise some of the exam material assessed in all three papers (1, 2 & 3). Successful passing of the 12 practicals qualifies the pupil for a Practical Endorsement certificate. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Haydon School directly.

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 or 2 years