Revised Syllabus for 2016

Purpose of studying Biology at A-level

The value of learning H2 Biology ultimately hinges on the development of a scientific mind and dispositions while addressing the broader questions of what life is and how life is sustained. The Science Curriculum Framework developed by the Ministry of Education elaborates on the development of the scientific mind and dispositions. Through the study of the H2 Biology course, students should be prepared for life science-related courses at university and, consequently, careers that are related to this field.

Connections between Biology at A-levels and O-levels

The Biology syllabus is developed as a seamless continuum from O-level to A-level, without the need for topics to be revisited at A level. The O-level syllabus is foundational and thus should provide the necessary background for study at A-level. Students who intend to offer H2 Biology will therefore be assumed to have knowledge and understanding of O-level Biology, either as a single subject or as part of a balanced science course.

Many new and important fields of biology have emerged through recent advancements in life sciences. Vast amounts of knowledge have been generated as evident from the sprouting of scientific journals catering to niche areas of research. As such, the Biology syllabus refines and updates the content knowledge so that students can keep up to date with knowledge that is relevant for their participation in a technology-driven economy.

Aims in the new Curriculum

The aims of a course based on this syllabus should be to:

  • provide students an experience that develops their interest in biology and builds the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for 
  • enable students to become scientifically literate citizens who are well-prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.
  • develop in students the understanding, skills, ethics and attitudes relevant to the Practices of Science, including the following: further studies in related fields
      • understanding the nature of scientific knowledge
      • demonstrating science inquiry skills
      • relating science and society.
  • address the broader questions of what life is and how life is sustained, including:
  • understanding life at the cellular and molecular levels, and making connections to how these micro-systems interact at the physiological and organismal levels
  • recognising the evolving nature of biological knowledge
  • stimulating interest in and demonstrating care for the local and global environment. 

Differences between between H1 & H2 Biology

The following topics are not covered in H1: 

  • Organization of Genome 
  • Control of Gene Expression
  • Communication and equilibrium in Organisms 
  • Evolution and Biodiversity, Species and Speciation
  • Infectious Diseases
The rest of the topics covered in H1 are of similar rigour as in H2 though several Learning Objectives within each topic have been emphasised to a smaller degree.

The H1 Biology content is a subset of H2 Biology. However, the difficulty and rigour of the subject will be equivalent to H2 Biology

There is NO Science Practical Assessment  [Paper 4] for H1 Biology.


Pre-requisite for H1 Biology:
Students intending to offer H1 Biology are assumed to have knowledge and understanding of Biology at ‘O’ Levels.  It is also assumed that candidates are competent in the fundamental mathematical manipulation of data and numbers.

Pre-requisite for H2 Biology:
Students intending to offer H2 Biology are assumed to have knowledge and understanding of Biology at ‘O’ Levels.