Biology IGCSE

Biology IGCSE

Choose biology to understand the structures and functions that underpin life itself: from tiniest cell to the complex ecosystems that sustain us, to issues including genetic modification and food production.

Why St Mary's

Supported and inspired by subject-specialist teachers, you will study in our state-of-the-art laboratories, with access to carefully curated resources including workbooks, videos, interactive learning tools, textbooks and revision guides.

Biology IGCSE explores a range of fascinating topics including the variety of living organisms, biological molecules and enzymes, human and plant nutrition, gas exchange, plant and animal transport, excretion, coordination in humans and plants, animal and plant reproduction, genetics, ecosystems, genetic engineering, biotechnology and cloning.

Our enriched learning opportunities include:

Separate Science IGCSEs

Seperate Science subjects are ideal is you are aiming to study science at A Level, or want to pursue a science related career. Or if you simply enjoy studying science in greater depth. Separate Science IGCSEs are taught during 15 timetabled lessons per fortnight (five for each science subject).

Course overview

The aims and objectives of the IGCSE qualification are to enable students to:

  • Learn about unifying patterns and themes in biology and use them in new and changing situations
  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of biological facts, terminology, concepts, principles and practical techniques
  • Apply the principles and concepts of biology, including those related to the applications of biology, to different contexts
  • Evaluate biological information, making judgements on the basis of this information
  • Appreciate the practical nature of biology, developing experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques
  • Analyse, interpret and evaluate data and experimental methods, drawing conclusions that are consistent with evidence from experimental activities and suggesting possible improvements and further investigations
  • Recognise the importance of accurate experimental work and reporting scientific methods in biology
  • Select, organise and present relevant information clearly and logically using appropriate vocabulary, definitions and conventions
  • Develop a logical approach to problem solving in a wider context
  • Select and apply appropriate areas of mathematics relevant to biology as set out under each topic
  • Prepare for more advanced courses in biology and for other courses that require knowledge of biology


Paper 1: 2 hour written examination (61.1% of the total mark)

Paper 2: 1 hour and 15 minute written examination (38.9% of the total mark)

There are no practical examinations or course work, the practical skills are assessed through the written papers.


At a glance
You will enjoy this course if you...
  • Like practical experiments
  • Have an enquiring mind
  • Can apply mathematical skills
  • Are a problem-solver
  • Have an eye for detail
  • Can manipulate and apply key concepts

What our teachers say...

“By teaching biology, I continue to learn and broaden my understanding and can share my enjoyment of a subject that is fascinating and ever-developing. As well as inspiring students to learn how their body functions and to explore plants, animals and microorganisms, we see how vital biology is to shaping policy on climate change, health, biodiversity, conservation and other scientific, social and cultural issues.”

“Despite our very recent appearance on the planet, humanity combines arrogance with increasing material demands, even as we become more numerous. Our toughness is a delusion. Have we the intelligence and discipline to vigilantly guard against our tendency to grow without limit?” Lynn Margulis, Biologist and Evolutionary Theorist

Biology opens our eyes to the social, cultural, political and current scientific issues affecting the earth and organisms living on it – equipping us with the information we need to make well-informed decisions for the future. In the coming decades, biologists hold the key to reducing our carbon footprint, to avoiding further destruction of rainforests and to resolving the pollution of our air and waterways. They will also advance medicine, from using stem cells to create organs for transplantation to discovering new therapies to cure genetic diseases and cancer.

Biology develops a core range of transferrable skills and this course will develop your problem-solving, analytical and practical skills.

Biology students from St Mary's go on to study at leading universities, pursuing a range of different courses, including dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, biomedical science, biochemistry, neuroscience and pharmacy.


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Beyond St Mary's

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