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Why study Biology?

Biology is an ideal subject, especially if taken with Chemistry, for students who want to go on to study Medicine or related careers. Regardless of what year group I am teaching, I always tell my students that the  study of Biology is fundamentally about observation. Researchers make an observation, question that observation, and ask themselves why it happened. This leads to new discoveries and then, potentially, to making a real difference in the world.  This is, ultimately, what the study of Biology is about. 

Ruth Fonseka, Head of Biology

About the Course

Biology is the study of the living world. Over the past two centuries, rapid and profound progress has been made in this field, from establishing the basic laws of inheritance in the 1850s to the discovery of the iconic DNA double helix in the 1950s and the completion of the human genome project in the early 2000s. Beyond these high profile successes, scientists have continued to make gains in understanding how diseases emerge and transmit, how organisms interact with their environment, and how life itself began. This course provides excellent preparation for studying the sciences at university and access to a wide range of careers. Throughout the course you will develop a range of laboratory skills that include microscopy, dissection, microbiology and aseptic techniques. You will learn the intricate workings of the cell and the chemical building blocks required for their functioning. The molecular pathways that underpin all life, especially photosynthesis and respiration, will also be studied in great depth, as will the functioning of individual human body systems. Environmental biology will also be studied in this broad and challenging curriculum that is designed to engage and enthuse.

Examination Board

OCR (H420)

Course Structure

  • Unit 1 Development of Practical Skills in Biology
  • Unit 2 Foundations in Biology
  • Unit 3 Exchange and Transport
  • Unit 4 Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease
  • Unit 5 Communication, Homeostasis and Energy
  • Unit 6 Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems