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Intent of the Programme

Biology is the study of living organisms and the environment which they inhabit. It is an enormous subject and biologists have accumulated vast amounts of information about living things. It would be extremely difficult to gain a broad overview of the subject without understanding the basic principles which underline all biological sciences. IB Biology is an integrated course, which aims to introduce the student to a wide range of subject areas within simple contexts. The student develops a secure understanding of a limited body of facts and the ability to apply this biological knowledge to new and varied situations.

Biology as an Experimental Science

Biologists carry out research into living organisms by performing experiments. Conclusions are drawn on the basis of experimental evidence and biological statements have to be tested experimentally before they can be accepted.

Students gain a fuller understanding of biological phenomena by first hand experience. In the laboratory they also develop a critical approach, which can be used very effectively elsewhere and later in life.

All students must carry out a range of practical activities. These include a Group 4 project, research assignments, data interpretation exercises and an extended individual investigation.

Programme Structure

IB Biology can be taken at Standard Level or Higher Level. All students will undertake the Standard Level during Year 12 and will choose between the Standard and Higher Level at the beginning of Year 13.  The course is split between three main parts.

  • Subject specific core (SSC): This is the common core for both Standard and Higher Level (95 hours).
  • Additional Higher Level material (AHL):  This is for Higher Level students only (60 hours).
  • Options: 15 hours (SL), 25 hours (HL).

Areas of Study

Topics covered in IB Biology include:

Subject Specific Core (SSC):

  • Topic 1    Cell biology
  • Topic 2    Molecular biology
  • Topic 3    Genetics
  • Topic 4    Ecology
  • Topic 5    Evolution and biodiversity
  • Topic 6    Human physiology

Additional Higher Level Material (AHL):

  • Topic 7    Nucleic acids
  • Topic 8    Metabolism, respiration and photosynthesis
  • Topic 9    Plant biology
  • Topic 10   Genetics and evolution
  • Topic 11   Animal physiology

Option (SL/HL): Neurobiology and behaviour (current SMC option)


The final grade will be based on the examination grade (80%) and the individual assessed investigation (20%)


Field trips $20, 

junior and middle school girls