GCSE Biology (2017)

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The CCEA GCSE Biology specification provides a broad, coherent and practical course that develops confidence in, and a positive view of, science.

It encourages students to appreciate the value of science in their lives and in the wider world around them. It also gives students opportunities to apply their knowledge and understanding of the nature of science and the scientific process.

Practical science is a key part of this specification, with students carrying out nine prescribed practicals during the course.

Our GCSE science specifications are the only ones to directly examine practical work, a core element of the subject, as part of a unit titled Practical Skills. There is also a written exam for each unit.

All parts of the assessment are externally marked.

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Science and Technology Area of Learning.

This specification is unitised, so it’s possible to take part of the assessment before the end of the course.

The specification has three units:

  • Unit 1: Cells, Living Processes and Biodiversity
  • Unit 2: Body Systems, Genetics, Microorganisms and Health
  • Unit 3: Practical Skills.

Current Specification

First teaching: from September 2017
First assessment: from Summer 2018
First award: from Summer 2019
QAN: 603/1371/7
Subject code: 1010
Guided learning hours: 120
Qualification level: 1/2

Skills developed through our GCSE Biology

This specification supports the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 4 and gives students further opportunities to achieve their potential and develop skills for life. These skills include:  

  • using mathematics;
  • communication;
  • using technology in scientific contexts;
  • observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills and understanding in laboratory, field and other learning environments; and
  • working with others.

Students develop the ability to evaluate claims based on science, both qualitatively and quantitatively, by critically analysing the methodology, evidence and conclusions.

For more information on this specification contact:

Gareth Wilson
Subject Officer
(028) 9026 1433
Louise Millar
Specification Support Officer
(028) 9026 1410

Work with us

There are currently no positions related to this qualification with CCEA. To see all available positions with CCEA visit our jobs section.