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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent
ISI INSPECTION REPORT - 2018

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE

BIOLOGY (OCR)

AS Course Outline

Why study Biology?

Biology

AS Biology will give you an exciting insight into the contemporary world of biology. It covers the key concepts of biology and the development of practical skills are integrated throughout the course. Theoretical knowledge and the focus on current practical techniques will support your development as a future scientist.

You will recognise a great deal of GCSE science in AS Biology, but the course concentrates more on the workings of the body's natural building-blocks: the cells. It explores how the whole body is a complex set of interacting cells and that the workings of the cells are driven by the activity of molecules inside them.

The OCR AS specification gives you the opportunity to explore these and other issues, beginning as it does with a study of the lives of microscopic cells and the implications of disease, before moving on to a review of living biodiversity in all its brilliance.

What skills will students develop when studying Biology?

Biology is supported by experimental work. Students learn to collect reliable data and learn to regard data (whether collected themselves or not) with a critical eye. Students are encouraged to search for patterns in what they see, and to recognise anomalies.

As well as developing numerical skills, Biology is a subject that demands good literary skills too. Students develop ways of articulating complex ideas in prose concisely and without ambiguity. The skills acquired by studying Biology would be of great benefit in a variety of careers: teaching, journalism, finance, law, and many more.

What are the challenges of the course?


Biology (OCR) AS Specification
Content Overview Assessment Overview

Module 1 - Development of Practical skills.

Module 2 - Foundations in Biology

Module 3 - Exchange and Transport

Module 4 - Biodiversity, evolution and disease

*BOTH EXAM COMPONENTS ASSESS CONTENT FROM ALL FOUR MODULES.

Component 1*
Breadth in Biology

1 hour 30 min
50%
Assessed in May and June
Component 2*
Depth in Biology

1 hour 30 min
50%
Assessed in May and June

Structure of the Course
This course will be taught for 5x 1hour lessons per week. Homework will be set twice weekly and deadlines must be adhered to. On some weeks one of the lessons will be used for practical work. Mock exams take place each month, in addition to formative weekly tests. You must be prepared to read around the topics studied in class.

Core Textbook
A Level Biology for OCR A Year 1 and AS LOCKE Oxford University press ISBN-13: 978-0198351917

Suggested reading prior to the course
Head Start to A-level Biology by CGP
ISBN: 9781782942795
This book is the ideal way to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-Level Biology.
New Scientist magazine (available from most newsagents)
Reading popular science in the media will inspire students and allow them to link their learning to the real world and latest developments in the field.

Further Reading
The Selfish Gene 40th Anniversary edition. By Richard Dawkins
ISBN: 978-0198788607
For students with particular interest in Evolution and genetics.
Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are By Robert Plomin
ISBN: 978-0241282076
For students with a particular interested in the link between genetics and psychology.
Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life By Edward O. Wilson
ISBN: 978-1631492525
For students particularly interested in biodiversity, ecology, climate change and broader environmental issues and conservation biology.
This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor By Adam kay
ISBN-13: 978-1509858637
Essential reading for students considering a career path in medicine.