Leaving Certificate Biology

Leaving cert Biology is the most popular of all leaving certificate science subjects and many students pick this as their one science subject. However, don't fall into the trap of thinking Biology is the "easy" science subject. 9.7% of students failed Biology in 2012. 

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The leaving cert Biology course is really diverse and covers everything from Cell Biology to to the Human Body to Ecology and Plants. There is a lot of learning to be done in this subject and with all the new terms it can sometimes seem like you are learning a new language! Makes use you know your definitions when studying Biology. They can often make up 25% of the questions on the exam. There are only 22 experiments to be learned and these often make up over 20% of the marks. For each experiment be able to draw a diagram of the set up and know all of the steps and the reasons for taking these steps. Many students decide to leave out whole sections of the course such as Plants or Ecology. Be careful doing this as you will will have to answer at least a few questions in the short questions and it's a risky strategy if difficult questions come up in your chosen topics.

Course Content

Bacteria,Viruses,Fungi & Yeast

Blood & Circulatory System

Breathing System

Cell Division

Cell Metabolism & Enzymes

Cell Structure

Digestive System

Ecology & Ecosystems


Experiment Questions

Eye/Ear & Nervous System

Food & Food Tests

Genetics, DNA & Evolution

Hormonal System

Human Reproduction

Immune system

Musculoskeletal System


Plant Reproduction & Transport

Plant Responses & Seed Growth

Plant Structure


The Exam

An exam paper at higher and ordinary level. You are required to keep a record of your practical work (experiments) over the two years of the course and there will be experiment questions on the written paper. 

Future Careers with Leaving Certificate Biology

Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Science, Nursing, Physiotherapy

Download the leaving cert biology syllabus

Download the leaving cert Biology Chief examiner's report (2009) 

Download the leaving cert Biology Guidelines for Teachers 

24 Topics for Biology

24 Past papers for Biology

Biology Discussions

Resources for Ordinary Biology