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Key details

Attendance Full-time
Duration 2 years
Code SFCABIOL
Awarding Body OCR
Level A-level
Start Date 06/09/2021

Other start dates

Course overview

Biologists study the largest mammals to the smallest of microscopic living things and sometimes even smaller.

We do this to understand how an organism works, and also answer much more profound questions like:

  • How did we evolve?
  • How can we stop the spread of disease?
  • Could life exist on another planet?
  • How can we measure the real impact of pollution and climate change here on Earth?

A level Biology is an exciting course that could really help you start a career at the cutting-edge of modern science.

It is one of the most popular A levels and one that many people need to get onto their chosen science-based degree.

The list of biology careers is pretty long and includes:

  • medicine
  • nursing
  • dentistry
  • forensic science
  • zoology
  • environmental science
  • conservation
  • marine biology
  • teaching
  • science writing
  • genetics
  • research

A Level Pathways

If you are interested in proceeding with A Levels then then you have 4 different pathways that you can choose from. With each pathway you must choose 3 A Levels. Other combinations are available. For information about these pathways click here.

What you'll study

You will study a total of six units over two years:

  • Practical Skills in Biology
  • Foundations in Biology
  • Exchange and Transport
  • Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease
  • Communication, Homeostasis and Energy
  • Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems
  • You will study a total of six units over two years:

    • Practical Skills in Biology
    • Foundations in Biology
    • Exchange and Transport
    • Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease
    • Communication, Homeostasis and Energy
    • Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems

Assessment

The course is a linear-examined course, which means all the formal exams are at the end of two years.

This is really tough. There is no opportunity for you to resit so you only get one chance to succeed.

You will need to be dedicated and committed to your classwork and revision – we will teach you the biology and help you all the way, but we can’t do the exam for you.

You will be examined in three theory exams, taken at the end of the second year:

  • Paper 1 - 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Paper 2 - 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Paper 3 - 1 hour 30 minutes

You will also produce a practical portfolio: Twelve practical activities, forming the practical endorsement.

The endorsement is assessed in-class, not in an exam and is reported separately to your final grade.

Entry requirements

GCSE Science
Grade 6
GCSE English
Grade 5
GCSE Maths
Grade 5

If an A Level Pathway which contains Science or Maths is chosen, you must have a 6 in these subjects.

Tuition fees

If you are 16 to 18 years old you won't have to pay tuition fees.

If you're 19 or older you may need to pay a fee.

2019/20: £1,049

All fees exclude exams, registration and administration charges. These fees apply to all learners, except those with full fee remission.

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