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Biology OCR GCE A2-level at Cornwall College

Course description

The lessons include a range of teaching and learning methods such as group work, student presentations and research as well as the more traditional styles of delivery. Teaching of practical skills is intergrated with theoretical topics. For A-level only, the Practical Endorsement will also support development of practical skills.

In addition to normal lessons in Biology, there will be scheduled revision sessions and study support sessions to help you progress and reach your potential in Biology. There may also be trips to universities, field trips and other subject specific trips to broaden your knowledge and understanding. This is a very intensive course that will require 4-6 hours of private study (outside the class) per week. Students with no background in Biology A-level but with good study skills can achieve good grades.

The quality of teaching in Biology is good with outstanding features, with a sucess rate at A-level of 100% for the academic year 2013-14.

There are two well-equipped Biology laboratories, with experienced teaching staff. The teaching staff are also well supported by a very experienced Biology technician.

Course content

Module 1- Development of practical skills 
Module 2- Foundations in Biology 
Module 3- Exchange and transport 
Module 4- Biodiversity, evolution and disease 
Module 5- Communications, homeostosis and energy. 
Module 6- Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

Entry requirements

Successful completion of the Biology AS-Level course.


You will study three units during the year and be assessed by examination and practical skills assessment. The course will be based on the new 2008 specification. Unit 4: Communications, Homeostasis and Energy This unit includes nervous and hormonal communication, kidney function and cell respiration and photosynthesis. Assessed by a one hour written exam in January. Unit 5: Control, Genomes and Environment The genetic code and inheritance of genes is studied in this unit along with modern gene technologies including genetic engineering, gene therapy and other aspects of biotechnology. Ecosystems are studied with an emphasis on the use of biological resources in a sustainable way. Finally, the human nervous system is looked at in more detail, along with animal behaviour. Assessed by a one and three quarter hour written exam in June. Unit 6: Practical Skills in Biology 2 Ongoing assessment of practical skills through specific OCR-set experiments carried out in the labs, You will use textbooks and other resources that have been written especially for the course.

Future opportunities

The course will prepare you to continue your studies at university, particular Biology related degrees in Biosciences, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Nursing, Veterinary, Medicine, Pharmacy, Paramedicine, Environmental Science, Animal Science and NHS careers such as Midwifery and Radiography. While studying the course, you will develop your mathematical and practical enquiry skills and your ability to evaluate data and draw valid conclusions.

There are a number of career pathways that you could choose- Doctor, Nurse, Vet, Midwife, Paramedic, Physiotherapist, Radiographer, Environmental Scientist, Science Journalism, Speech and Language Therapist, Dietician, Research Scientist to name just a few.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 27 May 2015
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    • Here at Cornwall College St Austell we are a friendly and welcoming campus and our staff team are ready and waiting to ensure you get the most out of college life and achieve your goals.

      On our campus you’ll find all the resources you need to help you on your journey to success. 

      In 2014 Cornwall College St Austell students achieved the College's best ever A-level pass rates, with 99.2% achieving A*-E.  

      It’s not all work and no play at Cornwall College St Austell you can find the student union situated in The Treg. It is a great place to chill with music, pool, table tennis tables as well as a whole range of other activities to participate in.

      There is also a student run shop which offers everything from student supplies to novelty gifts and phone top ups. Prices are very low and excellent value for money.

      You’ll have everything you need right there on campus!