Biology is defined as the scientific study of life. Nature is remarkable and composed of a wide variety of simple and complex systems. Biology attempts to describe and explain these systems with regards to the organisation of life, its structures and processes and the interactions between living things and their environment. In doing so, biology allows us to understand all of life in the past, present and future.

The Draft Specification for Leaving Certificate Biology has been approved for public consultation.

The consultation period ran from Friday the 8th of December until Friday the 23rd of February, 2023.

The consultation involved in-depth engagement with a wide variety of stakeholders across Ireland. NCCA also contacted schools to participate in school-based focus groups involving teachers, students and school leaders.

The feedback from this consultation will help to inform the work of the Leaving Certificate Biology Development Group in refining the draft specification prior to final approval and publication.

A new specification for Leaving Certificate Biology is currently being developed.

The draft specification has been approved for consultation by council. Consultation timeframe to follow.

The first phase of the NCCA public consultation on the draft Background Paper and brief for the review of Leaving Certificate Physics, Chemistry and Biology has closed. The background paper and consultation report are available to download below:

The induction meeting for the new development group for Leaving Certificate Biology took place on September 13th 2019 in Athlone and a series of meetings will take place in the subsequent months.

Agreed short descriptions of meetings that have taken place so far, can be accessed below:

A new Leaving Certificate biology specification is in development. The current Leaving Certificate Biology syllabus is available here. It is assessed at Higher and Ordinary levels.

The development of a new Leaving Certificate Biology specification began in November 2006. The draft specification was published for consultation in 2012. The consultation report is available here.

The specification for Biology included a proposal for practical assessment. A trial of the practical assessment by the SEC was undertaken and completed in 2018. The draft specification was reviewed in light of the trial, and the consultations, but it was not implemented.

The Biology Development Group consisted of the nominees from a range of education stakeholders including teacher and management bodies, Department of Education and Skills, and the State Examinations Commission.