A Level Biology
Exam Board: OCR

Why study this subject?

Biology is the study of living organisms and the effects on their surroundings. This is a challenging subject that covers many aspects of life including: molecules, animal     behaviour, genetics and biodiversity. This is an important subject to choose if students are considering studying a science course at university including medicine, midwifery or veterinary sciences. Biology is also considered a facilitating subject by the Russell Group universities.

How is the course assessed?

The Biology A Level is a two year course. The content is split into six modules taught over the two years. There are three written papers taken at the end of the two years:


  • Biological processes –37% – 2h 15 mins
  • Biological diversity –37% -2h 15 mins
  • Unified Biology –26% – 1h 30 mins


Biological processes: This module looks at the intricate structure of the cell and role of enzymes, biological molecules and cell division. The role of the liver and other key organs are also studied.

Biological diversity: This module covers genetics, cloning, biotechnology, disease and environment.

Unified Biology: This module covers all aspects from the two year course and assesses the knowledge and application from all six modules using short questions and extended prose.

A separate Practical Endorsement will be assessed throughout the course which consists of a series of formal class practicals and investigations. If students pass, then this will be reported on their certificate.

Where can this subject lead? 

Students who study A Level Biology often go on to study science at a higher level at university. It is often an essential subject if students want to go into a health care     profession such as medicine, dentistry, midwifery of veterinary. A Level Biology show a good aptitude for problem solving as well as being practical—attributes required for many jobs.