Biology

Biology is a popular subject at Westminster Tutors and is led by a highly experienced and qualified tutor, who has also been an OCR examiner for many years. Biology is the study of all living organisms and the natural world, ranging from a single cell to an entire ecosystem. Our students not only gain knowledge on a wide range of biological topics, but also valuable skills in research, analysis, problem solving and organisation.



Specification

Although we offer all exam boards as our courses are individually designed, our chosen specification is OCR Biology A (H020 and H420).



Course Outline


Module 1

Development of practical skills in biology
  • Practical skills assessed in a written examination
    • Planning
    • Implementing
    • Analysis
    • Evaluation
  • 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

Assessment

AS level

Component 01: Breadth in biology
  • Assessment of content from modules 1-4
  • 70 marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes written paper
  • 50% of total AS level
Component 02: Depth in biology
  • Assessment of content from modules 1-4
  • 70 marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes written paper
  • 50 % of total AS level

A level

Component 01: Biological processes
  • Assessment of content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5
  • 100 marks
  • 2 hour 15 minutes written paper
  • 37% of total A level
Component 02: Biological diversity
  • Assessment of content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6
  • 100 marks
  • 2 hour 15 minutes written paper
  • 37% of total A level
Component 03: Unified biology
  • Assessment of content from all modules
  • 70 marks
  • 1 hour 30 minutes written paper
  • 26% of total A level

Practical Endorsement in Biology

  • Non-exam assessment
  • At least 12 practical activities to be completed
  • Reported separately as a pass or a fail

Tutors

  • Kim Gilmore BSc PhD (Head of Department)
  • Petra Barry BSc PGCE
  • Dominic Rowland