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Biology at Advanced Level develops many of the topics you have already studied at GCSE and introduces you to some new and exciting areas of biology. The course follows the OCR context-led approach which allows you to study important areas of biology within recognisable contexts. You will study, for example, the influence that genes have on our development, human health, the mammalian systems and the impact of future human population increases. Biology is a practical subject so you will develop many experimental and mathematical skills. It is hoped that this course will help you gain some understanding of the dynamic and exciting nature of biology and an awareness of the ethical aspects of the subject.

The course is structured into five themes. These are: Development of practical skills in biology, Cells, chemical for life, gas exchange and transport, Cell division, development and disease control, Energy, reproduction and populations, and Genetics, control and homeostasis.

Exam board:


Essential Entry Requirements:

You shoul dhave studied at least combined science at higher GCSE level, achieving two grade 6s or above. Single subject Biology also needs to be a 6 grade or above.

Preferred Entry Requirements:

Grade 6 in GCSE Maths.

Pre-Course Material:

This is available here.



Paper 1: Fundamentals of biology (H422/01) – 2hrs 15 – 41% - This covers content from themes 1-5.
Paper 2: Scientific literacy in biology (H422/02) – 2hrs 15 – 37% - This covers content from themes 1-5.
Paper 3: Practical skills in biology (H422/03) – 1hr 30 – 22% - This covers content from themes 1-5.

Practical Endorsement (H422/04). Students complete a minimum of 12 key practicals over the two year course and are awarded a pass/fail grade alongside their A Level result.

Additional Costs

Recommended purchases

Penny, J. (2013) Maths Skills for A Level Biology, Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.  £11

There may also be opportunities for field trips during the two year course which will incur an additional cost.