IB Biology Standard and Higher Level

Science and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics
Science and Mathematics
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code IB01
Qualification Type International Baccalaureate Diploma
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Biologists investigate the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques. At one end of the scale is the cell, its molecular construction and complex metabolic reactions, at the other end of the scale biologists investigate the interactions that make whole ecosystems function. Many discoveries remain to be made and great progress is expected in the 21st century. Through studying a science subject students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, the emphasis on a practical approach. In addition, through the overarching theme of the “Nature of Science” these knowledge and skills will be put into the context of the way science and scientists work in the 21st Century and the ethical debates and limitations of creative scientific endeavour. The sciences are taught practically. Students have opportunities to design investigations, collect data, develop manipulative skills, analyse results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate their findings. The investigations may be laboratory based or they may make use of simulations and data bases. Students develop the skills to work independently on their own design, but also collegiately, including collaboration with schools in different regions, to mirror the way in which scientific research is conducted in the wider community.


Key features of the curriculum   -  Available at standard (SL) and higher levels (HL)

While there are core skills and activities common to both SL (standard level) and HL (higher level) students, students at HL are required to study the options and some topics in greater depth as well as some additional topics. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.

A practical approach to the course delivery is emphasised through the interdisciplinary group 4 project and a mixture of both short-term and long-term experiments and investigations.



1. Cell biology

2. Molecular biology

3. Genetics

4. Ecology

5. Evolution and biodiversity

6. Human physiology

Additional Higher level Options

7. Nucleic acids

8. Metabolism, cell respiration and photosynthesis

9. Plant biology

10. Genetics and evolution

11. Animal physiology

How will it be delivered?

The minimum prescribed number of hours is 150 for SL and 240 for HL

  • Students are assessed both externally and internally
  • Biology students at SL and HL undertake a common core syllabus and a common internal assessment (IA) scheme.
  • Internal assessment accounts for 20% of the final assessment and this is assessed through a single individual investigation. This investigation may involve a hands-on approach, use of data-bases, modelling, simulation or a hybrid.

Student work is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB. The external assessment of biology consists of three written papers. In paper 1 there are 30 (at SL) or 40 (at HL) multiple-choice questions. Paper 2 contains short-answer and extended-response questions on the core (and Additional Higher Level (AHL) material at HL). Paper 3 has two sections; Section A contains one data-based question and several short-answer questions on experimental work on the core (and AHL material at HL). Section B contains short-answer and extended-response questions from each of the four options.

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirement for The Skinners’ Kent Academy Sixth Form

Minimum of GCSE grade 4 (G4) in English and Mathematics plus 3 other GCSEs at grades 9-4

Subject specific minimum entry requirements are:

Biology: English and Mathematics G6 and Science Trilogy G7 (or Separate Science G7 in Biology plus G6 in either Chemistry or Physics). 

Your next steps...

The IBCP has been designed to remove the distinction that exists in many educational systems around the world between knowledge and practical skills, and in doing so, maximise the effectiveness of young people as they continue their education, enter the workforce and take their place in society. Taken in combination with other subjects and depending on your pathway of study this course can lead to higher education and/or apprenticeships.