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Biology A Level at Lytchett Minster School

Course description

The OCR course is designed for those students who wish to develop their interest in and enthusiasm for Biology. Key concepts are tackled, such as how genes control animal functions, conservation and how we deal with disease. Synoptic links between different areas are stressed in the course.

The content and assessment arrangements of the Biology specification were subject to significant changes from September 2015, moving to a linear structure where students are examined at the end of the two year course.

Course content

Year 1 

Foundations in Biology

  • Biological molecules
  • Basic components of living systems
  • enzymes
  • plasma membranes
  • Cell divisions

Exchange and transport

  • Exchange surfaces and breathing
  • transport in animals
  • transport in plants

Biodiversity, evolution and disease

  • Classification and evolution
  • Biodiversity
  • Communicable diseases

Year 2

Communication, homeostasis and energy

  • Communication and homeostasis
  • Excretion as an example of homeostatic control
  • Neural commuication
  • Hormonal communication
  • Plant and animal responses
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration

Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

  • Cellular control
  • Patterns of inheritance
  • Manipulating genomes
  • Cloning and biotechnology
  • Ecosystems
  • Populations and sustainability

Entry requirements

A minimum of grade B at GCSE in combined Science or Biology with a grade 5 in English and Mathematics.


There are regular assessment tasks set within the class which consist of practical work; this is an integral part of the course.

Over the course of the two years, students will complete 12 required practicals. Students may be awarded a practical endorsement attached to their A Level if these practicals are completed to the appropriate standard. The skills gained during the practical work will be assessed as part of the examination papers.

A Level students will complete three exam papers at the end of the course.

  1. Paper 1: Biological processes 100 marks 2 hours 15 minutes 37% of total A Level ]
  2. Paper 2: Biological diversity 100 marks 2 hours 15 minutes 37% of total A Level
  3. Paper 3: Unified biology 70 marks 1 hour 30 minutes 26% of total A Level

Future opportunities

The course obviously links to scientific careers such as medicine, nursing, environmental work, veterinary science and agriculture. However a science qualification is useful in its own right as it shows prospective employers you are numerate, capable of logical thought processes and good at problem solving.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 22 February 2017
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