GCE Biology

Why Biology?

The opportunities for students of Science, on completion of full-time education, are enormous. There are many possible careers within the scientific world and qualifications in Science subjects are acceptable as an entry into many other careers.

The Science courses offered at Sandwell Academy are designed to provide academic and vocational experiences. They will prepare students for their choice of career in both the world of work and Higher Education.

Course Type: A Level
Exam Board: OCR

Specific Entry Requirements:
Grade 6,6 overall for GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy) or a Grade 6 for GCSE Biology (Separate Science)
Grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics
Grade 6 in GCSE English

Course Assessment:
Students will take 3 examinations at A level, 2 exams weighing 37% and 1 exam weighing 26% of the final A level qualification.
Contact Curriculum Leader for more information:
Mrs Chapman
Download Course Leaflet
Science students can move on to Higher Education courses and careers in the following areas:
Physiotherapy, Forensic Science, Pharmacology, Veterinary Science, Medicine, Research Chemistry, Nursing, Aeronautics, Sports Science, Biological Sciences, Chemical Engineering

Course Outline


1. Development of Practical Skills in Biology (Practical Endorsement)
2. Foundations in Biology (Written examination)

This module will enable you to develop an understanding of some of the fundamental concepts, techniques and procedures in Biology. You will look at Cell division as a fundamental process, necessary for reproduction, growth and repair. You will also consider the structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids as well as having the opportunity to understand the structure of nucleic acids and their role in the storage of genetic information.

3. Exchange and Transport (Written examination)

You will study the structure and function of gas exchange and transport systems in a range of animals and plants. You will consider the significance of surface area to volume ratio in determining the need for ventilation, gas exchange and transport systems in multicellular organisms.

4. Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease (Written examination)

You will study the biodiversity of organisms, you will consider how they are classified and the ways in which biodiversity can be measured and compared. You will also gain an understanding of pathogenic organisms and the way in which plants and animals have evolved defences to deal with disease. Furthermore you will be indicted to the impact of evolution of these pathogens on the treatment of disease.

  1. Breadth in Biology Content from modules 1-4 Weighting: 50%
  2. Depth in Biology Content from modules 1-4 Weighting: 50%

Year 2

5. Communications, Homeostasis and Energy (Written examination)

You will outline the need for communication systems within multicellular organisms and describe the roles of sensory receptors in mammals. A detailed explanation of the liver, kidneys and lungs is included. You will be able to define the terms endocrine gland, exocrine gland and hormone as well as looking at the hormonal and nervous mechanisms involved in the control of heart rate in humans. You will outline why plants, animals and microorganisms need to respire as well as an analysis of photosynthesis.

6. Genetics, Evolution and Ecosystems (Written examination)

You will develop an awareness of protein synthesis in terms of DNA coding. You will be able to explain the terms allele, locus, phenotype, genotype, dominant, co dominant and recessive. You will also study the advantages and disadvantages of cloning, enzyme immobilisation and the steps involved in sequencing a genome .You will explain that genetic engineering involves the extraction of genes from one organism, or the manufacture of genes, in order to place them in another organism. You will also cover ecology, plant and animal responses.

  1. Biological Processes Content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5 Weighting: 37%
  2. Biological Diversity Content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 Weighting: 37%
  3. Unified Biology Content from modules 1-6 Weighting: 26%

Important Forms

Questions or Queries?

Should you have any queries or comments please contact Miss Duncombe (Sixth Form Admissions Officer) by either:

Email: sixthformadmissions@sandwellacademy.com

Or by post:

Sixth Form Admissions Officer,
Sandwell Academy,
Halfords Lane,
West Bromwich,
West Midlands,
B71 4LG.

Please ensure that the correct postage is paid for the size of envelope used.