The OCR A level Biology specification is demanding with a wide breadth of content, data analysis and mathematical skills forming major parts of the course. The following outlines the topics and exam structure.

The OCR A level Biology course is made up of 6 modules:

1.Development of practical skills in biology

2.Foundations in biology

3.Exchange and transport

4.Biodiversity, evolution and disease

5.Communication, homeostasis and energy

6.Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

OCR A level Biology Exam Structure

Paper 1: Biological processes

·100 marks

·2 hours 15 mins

·37% of the course

·Assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5

Paper 2: Biological diversity

·100 marks

·2 hours 15 mins

·37% of the qualification

·Assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6

Paper 3: Unified biology

·70 marks

·1 hour 30 mins

·26% of the qualification

·Assesses content from all modules (1 to 6)

Students must complete all practical components (01, 02, 03, and 04) to be awarded the OCR A Level in Biology A. These required practicals are then assessed in all three exam papers either directly or through application of knowledge.

Course content overview:

The 6 modules contain the following content:

Module 1: Development of practical skills in biology

·Practical skills assessed in a written examination

·Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

Module 2: Foundations in biology

·Cell structure

·Biological molecules

·Nucleotides and nucleic acids

·Enzymes

·Biological membranes

·Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation

Module 3: Exchange and transport

·Exchange surfaces

·Transport in animals

·Transport in plants

Module 4: Biodiversity, evolution and disease

·Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system

·Biodiversity

·Classification and evolution

Module 5: Communication, homeostasis and energy

·Communication and homeostasis

·Excretion as an example of homeostatic control

·Neuronal communication

·Hormonal communication

·Plant and animal responses

·Photosynthesis

·Respiration

Module 6: Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

·Cellular control

·Patterns of inheritance

·Manipulating genomes

·Cloning and biotechnology

·Ecosystems

·Populations and sustainability

OCR Biology B Spec at a glance

The OCR A level Biology B specification is demanding with a wide breadth of content, data analysis and mathematical skills forming major parts of the course. Make sure that you have chosen the correct OCR specification as there are 2 specifications for OCR A level Biology. The following outlines the topics and exam structure.

The OCR A level Biology B course is made up of 5 modules: 

1.Development of practical skills in biology

2.Cells, chemicals for life, transport and gas exchange

3.Exchange and transport

4.Energy, reproduction, and populations

5.Genetics, control, and homeostasis

OCR A level Biology Exam Structure 

Paper 1: Biological processes

·110 marks

·2 hours 15 mins

·41% of the course

·Assesses content from modules 1-5.

Paper 2: Biological diversity 

·60 marks

·1 hour 30 mins

·22% of the qualification

·Assesses content from modules 1-5.

Paper 3: Unified biology 

·70 marks

·1 hour 30 mins

·26% of the qualification

·Assesses content from all modules 1-5.

Students must complete all practical components (01, 02, 03, and 04) to be awarded the OCR A Level in Biology B, advancing Biology. These required practicals are then assessed in all three exam papers either directly or through application of knowledge. 

Course content overview: 

The 5 modules contain the following content:

Module 1: Development of practical skills in biology

·Practical skills assessed in a written examination

·Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

Module 2: Cells, chemicals for life, transport and gas exchange

·Cells and microscopy

·Water and its importance in plants and animals

·Proteins and enzymes

·Nucleic acids

·The heart and monitoring heart function

·Transport systems in mammals

·Gas exchange in mammals and plants

·Transport systems in plants

Module 3: Exchange and transport

·The developing cell: cell division and cell differentiation

·The developing individual: meiosis, growth, and development

·The development of species: evolution and classification

·Pathogenic microorganisms

·The immune system

·Controlling communicable diseases

·The cellular basis of cancer and its treatment

·Respiratory diseases and treatment

Module 4: Energy, reproduction, and populations

·Cellular respiration

·Metabolism and exercise

·Fertility and assisted reproduction

·The effects of ageing on the reproductive system

·Photosynthesis, food production, and management of the environment

·The impact of population increase

·Plant reproduction

Module 5: Genetics, control, and homeostasis

·Patterns of inheritance

·Population genetics and epigenetics

·Gene technologies

·The nervous system and the identification and consequences of damage

·Monitoring visual function

·The effect of ageing on the nervous system

·The principles and importance of homeostasis

·The hormonal control of blood glucose and the management of diabetes

·Kidney functions and malfunctions

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