CCMS - St. Patrick's College_Web-2

Subject Overview

Biology is studied in Key Stage 4 as:

  • Triple Award Science
  • Double Award Science
  • Single Award Science

In both Triple Award Science and Double Award Science, pupils study the following two units:

Biology Unit B1: Cells, Living Processes and


In this unit, students learn about cells, photosynthesis, nutrition and health, enzymes, breathing and respiration, the nervous system and hormones, and ecological relationships. Students begin by investigating the cell and its importance as the fundamental building block of life, and develop their understanding of the key processes that occur in plants and animals. Finally, they carry out fieldwork in a natural ecosystem to observe living specimens and explore how organisms are adapted to their environment.

Biology Unit B2: Body Systems, Genetics,

Microorganisms and Health

In this unit, students focus on osmosis and plant transport, the circulatory system, reproduction, fertility and contraception, genome, chromosomes, genes and DNA, cell division and genetics, variation and selection, microorganisms, defence mechanisms and cancer. Students develop their understanding of the processes involved in maintaining all life and investigate problems that arise due to genetic or environmental causes. Students also explore the issues associated with non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

Triple Award students study some of the above material in more detail and are awarded a full GCSE at the end of the course.

In Double Award, pupils learn alongside Chemistry and Physics, to receive two GCSE awards.



CCEA GCSE Double Award Science Specification

CCEA GCSE Biology Specification

Single Award Science

In Single Award Science students study three units, one in each Biology, Chemistry and Physics over two years. A single GCSE is then awarded.

In the Biology unit the pupils are provided with a broad introduction to key biological concepts which allows them to investigate a range of practical applications of Biology.


CCEA GCSE Single Award Science

A Level Biology

Exam Board: CCEA

The CCEA Specification has been designed to develop pupils interest in and enthusiasm for biology, including developing an interest in further study and careers in the subject. During A Level Biology, pupils will develop and draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding of different aspects of the subject. They will develop skills, including independent learning, creative thinking, practical, mathematical and problem-solving. Pupils will carry out practical tasks and present their findings in different formats, while developing an appreciation and understanding of scientific methods, and how Biology contributes to the success of the economy and society.

To study A Level Biology, it is essential that pupils have obtained at least a B Grade in Triple Award Biology, or a BB in Double Award Science with a B grade in the GCSE Unit 2 Biology component.  

Course Content:

There are three units in both AS and A2.