Leaving Certificate Biology is divided into 3 Units:
Unit 1: Scientific Method, Characteristics of Living Things, Food/Nutrition, Ecology and Field Work .

Unit 2: The Cell, Cell Division, Photosynthesis, Respiration, Genetics, DNA, Evolution, Genetic Engineering, Osmosis and Diffusion, Protein Synthesis and Enzymes.

Unit 3: Fungi, Bacteria, Viruses, Human Body Systems and Plant Systems & Structure.

Many of these topics are covered in Junior Cycle; however they are treated in much more detail and depth at Leaving Certificate.

Exam Structure
The Leaving Certificate Biology Exam is worth 100%, there is currently no continuous assessment. The subject is available at both Higher and Ordinary Level, with most of the course being covered for both levels. The exam structure for both levels is the same, and the exam lasts for 3 hours.

Section A– Short Questions
6 Questions, Answer 5.
100 marks = 25%

Section B – Experiment Questions
3 Questions, Answer 2.
60 marks = 15%

Section C – Long Questions
6 Questions, Answer 4.
240 marks = 60%

Student Suitability
Students should have an interest in Junior Science, in particular in the human body and plants. Ideally students should have sat the Junior Certificate exam at Higher Level.
Biology involves a large volume of learning so students must be willing to work hard.
Biology is based mostly around human and plant biology, however for those with an interest in animal, marine or health related sciences it does have many similarities and links.

Career Paths
Biology is a necessary requirement for many careers, the following list is only a general guide, Biology is used in many other career paths and third level courses:

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Hairdressing
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Sport Science
  • General Science
  • Physiotherapy
  • PE Teaching
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Genetics
  • Disease Research
  • Marine Biologist
  • Zoologist
  • Veterinary
  • First Aid
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Nursing
  • Veterinary Nursing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Agricultural Science
  • Microbiology
  • Food Industry
  • Brewing Industry
  • Horticulture
  • Primary Teaching (Science Aspect)
  • Nutrition & Dietician
  • Massage Therapist
  • Forensics
  • Biomedical Science
  • Blood Testing (Haematology)
  • Pathology
  • Sports Injury