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Leaving Certifcate Biology


This syllabus will inspire them in them an interest in and excitement about biology. It should enable them as future citizens to discuss and make judgements on issues in biology and science that impact on their daily lives and on society. It should provide them with the knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue further education, training and employment in biology-related fields and thereby respond to the needs of the economy and contribute to sustained economic development.

Biolology Revision Self Assessment

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The aims of the syllabus are:

• to contribute to students' general education through their involvement in the process of scientific investigation and the acquisition of biological knowledge and understanding

• to encourage in students an attitude of scientific enquiry, of curiosity and self-discovery

• to develop an understanding of biological facts and principles

• to enhance an interest in and develop an appreciation of the nature and diversity of organisms

• to create an awareness of the application of biological knowledge to modern society in personal, social, economic, environmental, industrial, agricultural, medical, waste management and other technological contexts

• to develop in students an ability to make informed evaluations about contemporary biological issues.


The objectives of the syllabus are:

(a) Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

Students should have a knowledge and understanding of biological facts, terms, principles, concepts, relationships and experimental techniques, including practical laboratory skills.

(b) Application and Interface with Technology

Students should be able to apply their knowledge and understanding of biology in environmental, industrial, agricultural, medical, waste management and other technological contexts.

(c) Science in the Political, Social and Economic Spheres

Students should be able to apply, where possible, their knowledge and understanding of biology in personal, social and economic spheres and to make informed evaluations about contemporary biological issues.

Syllabus Structure

The syllabus is composed of science for the enquiring mind or pure science, which constitutes approximately 70% of the syllabus, and the technological, political, social and economic aspects of biology, which constitutes the remaining 30%.

The syllabus consists of three units:

o Sub-unit 1.1: The Scientific Method
o Sub-unit 1.2: The Characteristics of Life
o Sub-unit 1.3: Nutrition
o Sub-unit 1.4: General Principles of Ecology
o Sub-unit 1.5: A Study of an Ecosystem

o Sub-unit 2.1: Cell Structure
o Sub-unit 2.2: Cell Metabolism
o Sub-unit 2.3: Cell Continuity
o Sub-unit 2.4: Cell Diversity
o Sub-unit 2.5: Genetics

o Sub-unit 3.1 Diversity of Organisms
o Sub-unit 3.2 Organisation and the Vascular Structures
o Sub-unit 3.3 Transport and Nutrition
o Sub-unit 3.4 Breathing System and Excretion
o Sub-unit 3.5 Responses to Stimuli
o Sub-unit 3.6 Reproduction and Growth

Learning outcomes/Self Assessment for each Sub-Unit:
Insert attached word document ‘Biology Revision Self-Assessment’ as a link here, so that it can be downloaded (if possible!)

Course Duration

• 180 hours of class contact time
• Five class periods per week (30 - 40 minutes each), to include at least one double period
Practical Activities

In the course of their studies, students should undertake a range of practical work, laboratory work and fieldwork. Students should carry out these activities over the duration of the course. A record of this work should be retained.

Checklist of Higher Level Topics and Mandatory Activities:

Checklist of Ordinary Level Topics and Mandatory Activities:

Differentiation between Ordinary Level and Higher Level

Ordinary level and Higher level are differentiated on the basis of:

1. Range of topics: At Higher level an extended range of topics is required.

2. Depth of treatment: The Ordinary level course provides an overview of biology and its application to everyday life. At Higher level a deeper and more quantitative treatment of biology is required.


The syllabus will be assessed in relation to its learning objectives through a terminal examination paper. All material within the syllabus is examinable.

Terminal Examination Paper Layout:


Section A

Six Questions

Two questions from each

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3


Any Five

Section B

Three Questions

Based on prescribed practical activities 


Any Two

Section C

Six Questions

One from Unit 1

Two from Unit 2

Three from Unit 3


Any Four



Marking Distribution

Section A Section B Section C

5 x 20 marks


100 marks

2 x 30 marks


60 marks

4 x 60 marks


240 marks


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