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Biology A Level at St Augustine's CE High School

Course description

We offer the OCR Biology A course. The course has units on Human Biology, which includes homeostasis, the immune system, communicable diseases and the circulatory system, Plant Biology which includes transport in plants and cell structure, Ecology which involves a field trip to look at biodiversity and classification and Biochemistry, and looks at nucleotides, DNA and so on. Whilst the course builds on many of the GCSE topic areas, the demands are far greater, especially in terms of the maths, literacy and diagrammatical skills you are expected to use.

Entry requirements

To be do well on this course, you will need a great deal of prior knowledge from GCSE. You will also need to develop a great number of skills in the field, lab and classroom. You will need to be able to use a wide range of mathematical skills. The most important is statistical analysis, which you will need to quickly improve during the course. You will need to be able to interpret very complicated diagrams, and draw clear diagrams of your own. You will need to be very literate so that you concisely explain concepts using both words and the appropriate symbols and diagrams.
Most important of all, you will need to be interested in the Biology that you will be taught, or you simply will not be able to motivate yourself enough to study hard enough.


At the end of Year 13, you will have three exams. The first will ask a number of short answer questions to check the breadth of your science knowledge. The second paper will test your depth of knowledge by asking longer questions, including 6-mark questions of the style you are familiar with from your GCSEs, but far more challenging. The final paper concentrates the skills you learn in the compulsory practical work mentioned above.

Future opportunities

Biology A-Level traditionally leads into the study of Medicine and medical research at university. It overlaps a great deal with biochemistry courses. It also leads into ecology and ecology management at university. After university, fairly obviously, many people work in healthcare, as doctors, physiotherapists, nurses and so on. Others might work for the environment agency, or various conservation charities such as the Wildlife Trust and similar.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Augustine's CE High School directly.

Last updated date: 28 March 2017
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