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IGCSE | Biology

IGCSE | Biology

IGCSE Biology

About this course

IGCSE stands for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. It is a special educational programme of preparation for IGCSE examinations and getting a qualification that is globally-recognised. This qualification fits into the latest educational developments and trends all over the world and can be an ideal foundation for A Level and the International Baccalaureate Diploma programs. Students normally sit five to seven subjects in the last years of their school.


Why do students need IGCSE?

IGCSE program not only gives students a chance to go to the best colleges and universities, but also helps to develop their critical and creative thinking, independence, cultural and social awareness and thus building the foundation for further academic success. Good IGCSE exam results (points 4-9) is the best way to enter the best educational institutions all over the world.

How to choose subjects for study on the IGCSE program?

Traditionally, IGCSEs are taken in 5-6 subjects, depending on which path the students choose for their future profession. The range of IGCSE subjects is really wide but the students usually choose Mathematics, Business, ICT, English, Science (Biology, Physics or Chemistry) or humanities (Literature, Geography or History). When choosing the IGCSE subjects you should also consider your own interests and preferences. As a rule, IGCSE subjects are chosen “in excess”, so that it is possible to abandon disciplines which are more difficult to cope with.

In 2013 our British Online School Knowledge Space was accredited by Edexcel to run the programs in accordance with British educational standards. Since then, our students have studied various subjects at our British School and each year most of them pass IGCSE exams.

IGCSE Biology. The course gives students the opportunity to experience biology within the context of their general education.

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • acquire knowledge and understanding of biological facts, terminology, concepts, principles and practical techniques,
  • apply the principles and concepts of Biology,
  • evaluate biological information, making judgements on the basis of this information,
  • appreciate the practical nature of Biology, developing experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques,
  • analyse, interpret and evaluate data and experimental methods, draw conclusions,
  • select, organise and present relevant information clearly and logically using appropriate vocabulary, definitions and conventions.
The nature and variety of living organisms

Topic The nature and variety of living organisms:

  • Characteristics of living organisms
  • Variety of living organisms


  • Understand how living organisms share the following characteristics: they require nutrition, they respire, they excrete their waste, they respond to their surroundings, they move, they control their internal conditions, they reproduce, they grow and develop.
  • Describe the common features shown by eukaryotic organisms: plants, animals, fungi and protoctists.
Structures and functions in living organisms

Topic Structures and functions in living organisms:

  • Level of organisation
  • Cell structure
  • Biological molecules
  • Movement of substances into and out of cells
  • Nutrition
  • Respiration
  • Gas exchange
  • Transport
  • Excretion
  • Co-ordination and response


  • Describe the levels of organisation in organisms: organelles, cells, tissues, organs and systems.
  • Describe cell structures, including the nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane, cell wall, mitochondria, chloroplasts, ribosomes and vacuole, describe the functions of the nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane, cell wall, mitochondria, chloroplasts, ribosomes and vacuole, know the similarities and differences in the structure of plant and animal cells.
  • Identify the chemical elements present in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, describe the structure of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
  • Understand the processes of diffusion, osmosis and active transport by which substances move into and out of cells, understand how factors affect the rate of movement of substances into and out of cells.
  • Understand the process of photosynthesis and its importance in the conversion of light energy to chemical energy, describe the structure of the leaf and explain how it is adapted for photosynthesis.
  • Understand how the process of respiration produces ATP in living organisms, know that ATP provides energy for cells, describe the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration.
  • Understand the role of diffusion in gas exchange, understand gas exchange (of carbon dioxide and oxygen) in relation to respiration and photosynthesis, understand the role of the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm in ventilation, explain how alveoli are adapted for gas exchange by diffusion between air in the lungs and blood in capillaries, understand the biological consequences of smoking.
  • Understand the diffusion in unicellular and need for a transport system in multicellular organisms, describe the role of phloem in transporting sucrose and amino acids between the leaves and other parts of the plant, describe the role of xylem in transporting water and mineral ions, understand the role of plasma in the transport of carbon dioxide, digested food, urea, hormones and heat energy, understand how the immune system responds to disease, understand the general structure of the circulation system.
  • Understand the origin of carbon dioxide and oxygen as waste products of metabolism and their loss from the stomata of a leaf, know the excretory products of the lungs, kidneys and skin (organs of excretion).
  • Understand how organisms are able to respond to changes in their environment, understand that homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment, understand that a co-ordinated response requires a stimulus, a receptor and an effector.
Reproduction and Inheritance

Topic Reproduction and Inheritance:

  • Reproduction
  • Inheritance


  • Understand the differences between sexual and asexual reproduction, understand that fertilisation involves the fusion of a male and female gamete to produce a zygote that undergoes cell division and develops into an embryo, describe the structures of an insect-pollinated and a wind-pollinated flower and explain how each is adapted for pollination, understand that plants can reproduce asexually by natural methods and by artificial methods.
  • Understand that the genome is the entire DNA of an organism and that a gene is a section of a molecule of DNA that codes for a specific protein, understand that the nucleus of a cell contains chromosomes on which genes are located
  • Understand the meaning of the terms: dominant, recessive, homozygous, heterozygous, phenotype, and genotype, explain Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
Ecology and the environment

Topic Ecology and the environment:

  • The organism in the environment
  • Feeding relationships
  • Cycles within ecosystems
  • Human influences on the environment


  • Understand the terms population, community, habitat and ecosystem, understand the term biodiversity, understand how abiotic and biotic factors affect the population size and distribution of organisms.
  • Understand the names given to different trophic levels, including producers, primary, secondary and tertiary consumers and decomposers, understand the concepts of food chains, food webs, pyramids of number, pyramids of biomass and pyramids of energy transfer, understand the transfer of substances and energy along a food chain.
  • Describe the stages in the carbon cycle, including respiration, photosynthesis, decomposition and combustion, describe the stages in the nitrogen cycle.
  • Understand the biological consequences of pollution of air, know greenhouse gases, understand how human activities contribute to greenhouse gases, understand the biological consequences of pollution of water by sewage, eutrophication, deforestation.
Use of biological resources

Topic Use of biological resources:

  • Food production
  • Selective breeding
  • Genetic modification (genetic engineering)
  • Cloning


  • Describe how glasshouses and polythene tunnels can be used to increase the yield of certain crops, understand how the use of fertiliser can increase crop yield, understand the reasons for pest control, understand the role of bacteria in the production of yoghurt, understand the methods used to farm large numbers of fish to provide a source of protein.
  • Understand how selective breeding can develop plants and animals with desired characteristics.
  • Understand how restriction enzymes are used to cut DNA at specific sites and ligase enzymes are used to join pieces of DNA together, understand how human insulin can be manufactured from genetically modified bacteria, how genetically modified plants can be used to improve food production, understand the term transgenic.
  • Describe the process of micropropagation (tissue culture) in which explants are grown in vitro, describe the stages in the production of cloned mammals, understand how cloned transgenic animals can be used to produce human proteins.
 IGCSE  14-16 y.o.
IGCSE preparation, 3 or more subjects from the list (English SL, English1, Math, Physics, Chemistry, ICT, Geography, Economics, Business)
72 lessons on each subject, every lesson lasts 60 minutes
Price of the course (3 subjects) 5100 EUR
Registration fee 250 EUR

At the End of IGCSE Programme the students can take exams and get IGCSE certificates which allow them to apply to A-level, IB and other programmes of further education.

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