Exam board: CCEA
This specification encourages students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by following a broad, coherent, practical, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It encourages them to develop their curiosity about the living world and provides insight into and experience of how science works. It enables students to engage with biology in their everyday lives and to make informed choices both about further study in biology related disciplines and about their careers.
This specification aims to enable students to:
- develop their knowledge and understanding of biology;
- develop their understanding of the effects of biology on society;
- develop an understanding of the importance of scale in biology;
- develop and apply their knowledge and understanding of the nature of science and of the scientific process;
- develop their understanding of the relationships between hypotheses, evidence, theories and explanations;
- develop their awareness of risk and the ability to assess potential risk in the context of potential benefits;
- develop and apply their observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem solving skills and understanding in laboratory, field and other learning environments;
- develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions both qualitatively and quantitatively; and
- develop their skills in communication, mathematics and the use of technology in scientific contexts.
This course prepares students for the study of biology and related courses at GCE Advanced Level and Advanced Subsidiary. It also helps them to develop transferable skills that will benefit them in vocational training and employment.
For those progressing directly into employment, a GCSE in biology is relevant not only to the fields of science and medicine, but also to areas of commerce and public service that value problem-solving and practical skills.
As one of the most popular GCSE subject choices, on average 50% of our pupils continue to study biology to A level.
We would encourage pupils to make extensive use of past papers as part of their independent study routine. These can be accessed at:
Pupils should also print a copy of the specification to help them with their revision. This can be accessed at:
There is a revision guide that accompanies the course, which may be purchased either online or in local book shops.