GCE Life and Health Sciences (2016)

The CCEA GCE Life and Health Sciences specification was developed with industry in response to the needs of the growing life and health sciences sector in Northern Ireland.

Life and health science related industries make up over 25% of Northern Ireland’s total economic output and include a diverse range of public and private businesses and employment opportunities, including pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural, dental, nursing, environmental and allied health professions.

This specification is available at two levels: AS and A2 (Single and Double Award). 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.

For a full GCE Single Award qualification students must complete six units: three at AS level and three at A2. For a full GCE Double Award qualification 12 units are required: six at AS level and six at A2.

The specification has 16 available units. For details on compulsory and optional units, please see the specification.

  • Unit AS 1: Experimental Techniques
  • Unit AS 2: Human Body Systems
  • Unit AS 3: Aspects of Physical Chemistry in Industrial Processes
  • Unit AS 4: Brain Science
  • Unit AS 5: Material Science
  • Unit AS 6: Medicine, Drugs and Clinical Trials
  • Unit A2 1: Scientific Method, Investigation, Analysis and Evaluation
  • Unit A2 2: Organic Chemistry
  • Unit A2 3: Medical Physics
  • Unit A2 4: Sound and Light
  • Unit A2 5: Genetics, Stem Cell Research and Cloning
  • Unit A2 6: Microbiology
  • Unit A2 7: Oral Health and Dentistry
  • Unit A2 8: Histology and Pathology
  • Unit A2 9: Analytical Chemistry Techniques
  • Unit A2 10: Enabling Technology.

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 Single Award: 603/0500/9
QAN AS level Double Award: 603/0498/4
QAN A level Single Award: 603/0499/6
QAN A level Double Award: 603/0497/2
Guided learning hours AS level Single Award: 180
Guided learning hours AS level Double Award: 360
Guided learning hours A level Single Award: 360
Guided learning hours A level Double Award: 720
Qualification level: 3
Subject Code: 0008

Skills developed through our GCE in Life and Health Sciences

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.

The specification aims to encourage students to:

  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for science;
  • appreciate how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society;
  • develop competence in a range of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills;
  • develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of how science works;
  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject; and
  • develop advanced study skills that help them prepare for higher education.

For more information on this specification contact:

Paul Wright
Subject Officer
(028) 9026 1278
Nola Fitzsimons
Specification Support Officer
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2235