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Biology - A Level at City of Oxford College

Course description

Study general and human biology with a course developed in consultation with industry and universities - A-level Biology. It provides the perfect foundation for a wide range of biology-related higher education courses such as medicine, veterinary science, nursing and physiotherapy. If you enjoy applying knowledge of the way our body works, this is the course for you.

You develop the skills necessary for further academic study, such as strong report writing, essay writing and study skills, including presentation skills. 

You also improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course you will have benefited from individual support, including clear advice about higher education and careers.

Course content

Learn about a diverse range of biological topics through practical experiments and theory.

We follow the OCR specification.

First Year (AS)
• Unit F211: Cells, Exchange and Transport
• Unit F212: Molecules, Biodiversity, Food and Health
• Unit F213: Practical Skills in Biology 1

Second Year (A2)
• Unit F214: Communication, Homeostasis and Energy
• Unit F215: Control, Genomes and Environment
• Unit F216: Practical Skills in Biology 2

You learn in a variety of ways, typically through discussion, group work, independent study, reading and research tasks. There is a balance of challenge and support. You play an active part in your learning and there is a strong focus on your individual learning needs. 

Classes will take place over four days a week between 9am and 5pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled sessions. In addition, you will have the opportunity to attend trips and visits according to the needs of your individual subject. There are many enrichment opportunities, enabling you to extend your learning beyond the bounds of your chosen subjects.

Entry requirements

Applicants for A-level Biology will normally have:

6 x C grades at GCSE including English and maths. For this subject you will need GCSE English Language grade C and GCSE Double Science grade BB.


Formal assessment is through examinations and, in some subjects, through coursework. The examination periods are in May/June. There is a range of regular homework and class based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you receive regular feedback on your progress.

Financial information

Once enrolled you will be encouraged to buy a scientific calculator, ruler, pencils and textbook (OCR Biology AS, Kennedy P. Sochacki F. Heinemann).

Future opportunities

With three A-levels, the possibilities are endless. You can progress to higher education to study a variety of different subjects at degree level. A-levels also offer a high standard of education which many employers require as part of their entry criteria onto training programmes. An A-level in biology will give access to a wide range of biological related degrees including micro biology, zoology, biomedical science, nursing, veterinary and medical.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact City of Oxford College directly.

Last updated date: 19 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
      • From Ring Road: use EITHER Banbury Road or Woodstock Road to city centre. At traffic lights, end of St. Giles (Map 1), turn right into Beaumont Street and follow signs to the rail station. At the second set of traffic lights, i.e. at the bottom of Park End Street, turn left into Oxpens Road (ice rink). The College is ¼ mile on the left.
      • From South (Newbury) A34: Turn off A34 to Southern bypass and make for Cowley. At next roundabout, turn left to city centre (park and ride on left). Follow Abingdon Road to end, form left towards ice rink and parks. The College is opposite the ice rink.
      • From A423 (Henley/Reading): Join ring road at (Sainsburys) and turn left to next roundabout and right to city centre and ice rink.
      • From East (London): M40/A40 At end of A40 turn left at roundabout signed Cowley. Continue on the ring road, (4 roundabouts) to Abingdon Road, city centre and ice rink.
      • From the train station: the campus is 10 minutes walk from the station.