What could be more fascinating than the study of life itself? Whether you're interested in how DNA determines our individual characteristics, how the human mind works, or the diversity of the animal kingdom, biology explores it all.
An IGCSE in Biology will open the door to a wide variety of exciting professions, including medicine, dentistry, zoology, microbiology, pharmacology and much more.
What you'll learn
Unit 1 - Living Organisms
There are diverse types of living organisms including plants, animals, bacteria, viruses, protoctists, and fungi. Throughout this, you’ll understand the characteristics that they share with one another, including movement, respiration, sensitivity, homeostasis, growth and development, reproduction, excretion and nutrition.
Unit 2 - Structure and Function in Living Organisms
Organisms are made from organisations of smaller structures; during this unit, you’ll need to know the hierarchy of these structures. You’ll consider the differences between plant and animal cells and their functions. You’ll come to understand the procedures of diffusion, osmosis and active transport by which substance transfers in and out of cells. You’ll learn how metabolising is key to obtaining energy in any living thing, but in organisms, this is done slightly differently than through consuming food. You’ll understand how organisms respond to changes in their environment and how they adapt to this.
Unit 3 - Reproduction and Inheritance
To maintain a species, and to pass on genetic information to the next generation, all living things reproduce either asexually or sexually. In this topic, we contrast asexual and sexual reproduction and explore how genetic information is preserved and passed on to offspring. You’ll also look at the importance of DNA as genetic instruction, and how it determines the characteristics we inherit.
Unit 4 - Ecology and the Environment
Life exists in every corner of the globe, within complex communities of different species of animals and plants. The species within a community and the communities within ecosystems live in a constant state of flux. Species simultaneously compete for food, territory and water, but in many ways, they are dependent on each other too.
In this topic, we look at the transfer between living organisms and non-living parts of the environment, the consumption of nutrients by animals and plants and how this is then released back into the environment via death and decomposition. Over time, humans have caused a significant upsurge in the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere; this unit will cover topics such as global warming and water pollution, highlighting the influences that human consumption has had on the environment.
Unit 5 - Use of Biological Resources
To complete your Biology IGCSE, you’ll expand on your knowledge of biological resources. You’ll examine deforestation and learn the impact of cutting trees down, resulting in environmental issues. Next, you’ll look at food chains and the production of food, considering micro-organisms, fish farming and selective breeding. Finally, you’ll look at genetic modifications, such as the process of genetic engineering, cloning and how these can also be beneficial in agriculture.
Edexcel is the UK’s largest awarding organisation offering academic and vocational qualifications in schools, colleges and workplaces in the UK and abroad. Edexcel is a multinational education and examination body covering A-Level Courses and GCSE Courses.
Upon successful completion of this home learning course, you will receive an IGCSE in Biology (1BI0), issued by Edexcel. This syllabus has been chosen specifically because it is the best suited to distance learning.
How is this course assessed or examined?
You can enrol now for examinations for Summer 2024.
You'll be required to complete two IGCSE standard written exams:
- Paper 1 - Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of IGCSE, 100 marks.
- Paper 2 - Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of IGCSE, 100 marks.
The exams contain a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions. All exams must be taken in the same session.
We provide a guaranteed exam space in one of our partner exam centres around the UK. Check where your closest exam centre is.
During your course, there is no coursework to complete but you will be required to complete a range of assignments. These don't contribute to your final grade but will help to prepare you for your final examinations.
There are no formal entry requirements for this level two Biology IGCSE course, however, it is recommended that you have an intermediate ability to read and write in English.