Subject Content

The course is divided into three units

  • Unit 1  The study of life( ecology and food science)
  • Unit 2  The Cell ( Genetics, photosynthesis, respiration and enzymes)
  • Unit 3 The organism ( a study of body systems, plant biology and microbiology)

There are 22 mandatory practical activities. Three of these are examined each year, two of which have to be answered. A laboratory record of these activities has to be kept and available for inspection by The Department of Education and Science. An ecology portfolio has also to be completed. This is usually done in fifth year. As of yet no marks are awarded for the laboratory notebook or the portfolio.
On this relatively new course there is a strong emphasis on social and applied aspects e.g. when studying the breathing system a breathing disorder is studied.

Exam Structure

The examination at higher and ordinary level is three hours duration.  The exam paper is divided into three units.

  • Section A   Six short questions  (answer five)  100 marks.
  • Section B   Three questions on practical activities (answer two)  60 marks.
  • Section C  Six long questions (answer four) 240 marks.


1. It is recommended that a student taking Leaving Certificate Biology has a good understanding of Junior Science at higher level.
2. Each student must have an aptitude and interest for laboratory work.
3. A considerable amount of learning and study is necessary to do well in this subject.

Newbridge College Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland Tel: +353 45 487200 Fax: +353 45 487234 Email: info@newbridge-college.ie