GCE Biology (2016)

The CCEA GCE Biology specification gives students a deeper knowledge of the organisms that share our planet. They learn about how organisms are built, how they function and how they interact with each other and their surroundings.

Students carry out and report on practical activities that are designed to help them understand concepts and processes and demonstrate biological phenomena.

They also appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

This specification is available at two levels: AS and A2. Students can take the AS units plus the A2 units for a full GCE A level qualification. They can also choose to take the AS course as a stand-alone qualification.

Students look at contemporary developments in biology. For example, they learn about how a disrupted cell cycle contributes to the development of cancer. They also find out how some anticancer medications work to bring the disease under control.

The specification has six units:

  • Unit AS 1: Molecules and Cells
  • Unit AS 2: Organisms and Biodiversity
  • Unit AS 3: Practical Skills in AS Biology
  • Unit A2 1: Physiology, Co-ordination and Control, and Ecosystems
  • Unit A2 2: Biochemistry, Genetics and Evolutionary Trends
  • Unit A2 3: Practical Skills in Biology.

Current Specification

First teaching: from September 2016
First award of AS level: from Summer 2017
First award of A level: from Summer 2018
QAN AS level : 601/8486/3
QAN A level: 601/8487/5
Guided learning hours AS level: 180
Guided learning hours A level: 360
Qualification level: 3
Subject Code: 1010

Skills developed through our GCE Biology

This specification builds on learning from Key Stage 4 and gives students opportunities to continue to develop the Cross-Curricular Skills and the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. Students develop competence and confidence in skills such as:

  • independent learning;
  • creative thinking;
  • using mathematics; and
  • problem-solving.

Students acquire and develop skills that are valued in further and higher education, as well as in the workplace. These include analysis, evaluation and research. Students also develop an ability to understand complex processes, along with practical skills such as using a microscope, carrying out fieldwork and handling apparatus.

For more information on this specification contact:

Gareth Wilson
Subject Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2267
Nola Fitzsimons
Specification Support Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2235

Work with us

There are currently no positions related to this qualification with CCEA. Please visit our Jobs Section to see all available positions with CCEA.