OCR Biology (A) A-level

Sandbach College

Why study this course?

Biology is the study of life. There are at least 1.9 million different species on the planet, with new organisms being identified all of the time. Many of the organisms require powerful microscopes to see them; there are often more bacteria in your mouth than the number of people living on the planet. Studying Biology will help you to understand what unites all of these remarkable life forms. It’s a study about structure and division of labour, what fuels life processes and how a tiny molecule like DNA can result in such incredible variation in life. 

Biology is a very popular subject in the College and many of our students progress onto further Biology-related studies in Higher Education. It combines well with many other subjects, including

Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Physical Education, Geography and Psychology.

Sandbach College at Sandbach High School Entry Requirements

We ask that all students achieve grade 4 or equivalent (a Level 2 pass) in at least 4 subjects, alongside the following subject specific entry requirements:

  • Grade 6 in Science
  • Grade 5 in Maths (or must take Core Maths if 4)

What will I learn on this course?

In Year 12, you will study cell structure, biological molecules, biological membranes, cells and cells organisation, exchange surfaces, transport in plants and animals, disease and the immune system, biodiversity, classification and evolution.

In Year 13, you will study neuronal and hormonal communication, homeostasis, excretion, plant and animal responses, photosynthesis and respiration, cellular control, inheritance, biotechnology and cloning, ecosystems and populations and sustainability. 

During the course you will develop practical and analytical skills, in addition to problem solving and considering ethical issues associated with biological concepts.

Examinations & Coursework

The course is assessed by three written examinations which will take place in the Summer Term of Year 13. In addition students have the opportunity to be awarded a Practical Endorsement which is dependent upon the practical skills they demonstrate throughout the two year course.

Potential career paths

The Biology course is an excellent starting point for many degree courses and professional careers such as Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Nursing, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Forensic Science, Zoology, Genetic Engineering, Sports Science, Physiotherapy, Teaching, Microbiology, Biophysics and Pharmacology.

Enrichment opportunities

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a field trip (to have first-hand experience of ecological techniques and ecosystems) and various dissections throughout the course.

We also have a Senior Science Society who meet each week. 

Students also have the opportunity to volunteer and help in lower school science lessons too if they wish.