IGCSE Science Double Award (Biology)

The course

The biology section of the IGCSE double award aims to give you knowledge and understanding of biological facts, concepts and principles. You will develop an appreciation of the importance of accurate experimental work using the scientific method. You will learn how to form hypotheses, to design experiments to test them and to report your results properly. You will develop an enjoyment and an interest in the study of living organisms.

There subject is broken down into five sections. Section 1 (The nature and variety of living organisms) will introduce you to the diversity of life by looking at plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, protoctists and viruses and their features. Section 2 (Structures and functions in living organisms) looks at the differences between plant and animal cells. The similarities and differences between diffusion, osmosis and active transport will be explained. Details of the human digestive system will be given, with the functions of the different parts.

The experimental evidence showing what a plant needs for photosynthesis will be discussed. In Section 3 (Reproduction and inheritance) adaptations of wind-pollinated and insect-pollinated flowers will be introduced. The functions of the main parts of the human reproductive systems will be discussed and the hormones involved in the menstrual cycle shown by means of graphs. Patterns of inheritance will be shown via working out genetics problems. In Section 4 (Ecology and the environment), technical terms used in ecology will be defined. Energy transfer through an ecosystem and the carbon cycle will be explained. The effects of humans on the environment will be considered (eg pollution). In Section 5 (Use of biological resources), you will look at how knowledge of biology can be used to increase the production of food for people. Biotechnology such as genetic engineering and cloning will be explained.

What skills do I need?

You need an interest in science and the living world. You need to have good mathematical skills too.

How is the course assessed?

All the content will be assessed through a 2-hour written examination. The paper is weighted at 33.3% of the qualification. A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, shortanswer questions, calculations and extended openresponse questions.

Reading

Longman Biology for IGCSE
By A. Fullick
Published by Longman, ISBN 978-0435966881

MPW Course Notes
By A. Stockley

Exam Board and Specification Code

Pearson-Edexcel 4SDO

Andrew Stockley
Head of Department