GCSE Biology

Exam board:  Year 10 AQA (from September 2016)   Year 11 OCR Specification A 21st Century Science

Why study GCSE Biology?

Biology is an exciting and dynamic subject at the heart of modern healthcare, research, agriculture, conservation and sustainability. Not only does the course provide a good introduction to understanding how our own body works, but it also explores the wider aspects of life on Earth and how we understand it. This is essential background for anyone considering pursuing a career in science, but also of great importance to anyone living in living in a today’s society. A good understanding of biology is crucial to being able to engage with many of the most topical current issues such as stem cell technology, drug development, global warming, conservation, etc.

Biology at UTC Cambridge

At UTC Cambridge we believe that science is a practical subjects and we strive to make lessons as interactive and practical as possible. You will receive three hours Biology lessons per week, these are often supported by the work that you will complete in Challenge Projects.

Where can GCSE Biology take you?

Biology opens the doors to many careers and courses. In the short term it allows you to go on to study for A Level Biology or BTECs in the sciences. Qualifications in Biology also lead onto a very wide range of university courses, apprenticeships and careers, which can include traditional careers such as medicine, veterinary science, and research to media, management, diagnostics, law and many, many, more.



Year 10

The full specification can be found by clicking here, or for a summary of the course please see below.

In brief the course consists of seven taught units:

1. Cell biology
2. Organisation
3. Infection and response
4. Bioenergetics
5. Homeostasis and response
6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
7. Ecology


Year 10 GCSE Teaching Programme


Year 11

The full specification can be found by clicking here, or for a summary of the course content here.

In brief the course consists of seven taught units:

B1: You and your genes
B2: Keeping healthy
B3: Life on Earth
B4: The processes of life
B5: Growth and development
B6: Brain and mind
B7: Further biology 


Year 11 GCSE Teaching Programme



Year 10

Two X 1 hour 45min exams (paper 1 units 1, 2, 3 & 4, paper 2 units 5, 6 &7)

Each of the two papers contributes 50% of the overall grade for Biology

Both papers contain a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions

In addition to the exams each students has to complete 10 required practical activities, whilst, although not assessed, are a compulsory component of the course.

Year 11

Three x 1 hour exams (paper 1 units B1, 2 & 3, paper 2 units B4, 5 & 6, paper 3 unit B7)
1 piece of Controlled Assessment completed in college

Each of the three papers and the controlled assessment contribute 25% towards the overall grade for Biology.

Each of the papers contains a mixture of structured, closed short answer and open response questions


Where can I get extra help?

Year 10

This is a new course and we will add information as it becomes available

Year 11

Suggested texts:
Twenty First Century Science: GCSE Biology Student Book 2 (ISBN 978-0199138326)
(an electronic version of this book is available on college computers)

Revision guides for this course can be purchased at a discounted price through the college.