IB Biology Syllabus (Latest Core + Optional Topics)

International Baccalaureate (IB) Biology Syllabus and Study Link

Image Credit: International Baccalaureate Organization.

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Core Topics (95 Hours)

Topic 1. Cell biology (15 Hours)

1.1 Introduction to Cells

1.2 Ultrastructure of Cells

1.3 Membrane Structure

1.4 Membrane Transport

1.5 The Origin of Cells

1.6 Cell Division

Topic 2. Molecular biology (21 Hours)

2.1 Molecules to Metabolism

2.2 Water

2.3 Carbohydrates and Lipids

2.4 Proteins

2.5 Enzymes

2.6 Structure of DNA and RNA

2.7 DNA Replications, Transcription, and Translation

2.8 Cell Respiration

2.9 Photosynthesis

Topic 3. Genetics (15 Hours)

3.1 Genes

3.2 Chromosomes

3.3 Meiosis

3.4 Inheritance

3.5 Genetic Modification and Biotechnology

Topic 4. Ecology (12 Hours)

4.1 Species, Communities, and Ecosystems

4.2 Energy Flow

4.3 Carbon Cycling

4.4 Climate Change

Topic 5. Evolution and biodiversity (12 Hours)

5.1 Evidence for Evolution

5.2 Natural Selection

5.3 Classification and Biodiversity

5.4 Cladistics

Topic 6. Human physiology (20 Hours)

6.1 Digestion and Absorption

6.2 The Blood System

6.3 Defense Against Infectious Disease

6.4 Gas Exchange

6.5 Neurons and Synapses

6.6 Hormones, Homeostasis, and Reproduction

Additional Higher Level (HL) Topics (60 Hours)

Topic 7. Nucleic Acids (9 Hours)

7.1 DNA Structure and Replication

7.2 Transcription and Gene Expression

7.3 Translation

Topic 8. Metabolism, Cell Respiration, and Photosynthesis (14 Hours)

8.1 Metabolism

8.2 Cell Respiration

8.3 Photosynthesis

Topic 9. Plant Biology (13 Hours)

9.1 Transport in the Xylem of Plants

9.2 Transport in the Phloem of Plants

9.3 Growth in Plants

9.4 Reproduction in Plants

Topic 10. Genetics and Evolution (8 Hours)

10.1 Meiosis

10.2 Inheritance

10.3 Gene Pools and Speciation

Topic 11. Animal Physiology (16 Hours)

11.1 Antibody Production and Vaccination

11.2 Movement

11.3 Kidney and Osmoregulation

11.4 Sexual Reproduction

Optional Topics

Option A. Neurobiology and Behaviour (15 Hours for SL and 25 hours for HL)

A.1 Neural development

A.2 The human brain

A.3 Perception of stimuli

A.4 Innate and learned behavior (Higher Level Only)

A.5 Neuropharmacology (Higher Level Only)

A.6 Ethology (Higher Level Only)

Option B. Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (15 Hours for SL and 25 hours for HL)

B.1 Microbiology: organisms in industry

B.2 Biotechnology in agriculture

B.3 Environmental protection

B.4 Medicine (Higher Level Only)

B.5 Bioinformatics (Higher Level Only)

Option C. Ecology and Conservation (15 Hours for SL and 25 hours for HL)

C.1 Species and communities

C.2 Communities and ecosystems

C.3 Impacts of humans on ecosystems

C.4 Conservation of biodiversity

C.5 Population ecology (Higher Level Only)

C.6 Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles (Higher Level Only)

Option D. Human Physiology (15 Hours for SL and 25 hours for HL)

D.1 Human Nutrition

D.2 Digestion

D.3 Functions of the Liver

D.4 The Heart

D.5 Hormones and Metabolism (Higher Level Only)

D.6 Transport of Respiratory Gases (Higher Level Only)

Practical scheme of work (40 Hours for SL and 60 Hours for HL)

Practical activities (20 Hours for SL and 40 Hours for HL)

Individual Investigation (10 Hours for SL and HL)

Group 4 project (10 Hours for SL and HL)

Disclaimer: Syllabus and contents on this page are only used for educational purposes. If there are any copyright issues regarding the content, please email us at microbenotes@gmail.com.

References and Sources

  1. https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/sciences/biology/
  2. https://blog.prepscholar.com/the-complete-ib-biology-syllabus-standard-level-sl-and-higher-level-hl
  3. https://www.sdgj.com/ckfinder/userfiles/files/9a6ff27578e18e3f1023a4dc046beef1.pdf

About Author

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Sagar Aryal

Sagar Aryal is a microbiologist and a scientific blogger. He is doing his Ph.D. at the Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He was awarded the DAAD Research Grant to conduct part of his Ph.D. research work for two years (2019-2021) at Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany. Sagar is interested in research on actinobacteria, myxobacteria, and natural products. He is the Research Head of the Department of Natural Products, Kathmandu Research Institute for Biological Sciences (KRIBS), Lalitpur, Nepal. Sagar has more than ten years of experience in blogging, content writing, and SEO. Sagar was awarded the SfAM Communications Award 2015: Professional Communicator Category from the Society for Applied Microbiology (Now: Applied Microbiology International), Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK). Sagar is also the ASM Young Ambassador to Nepal for the American Society for Microbiology since 2023 onwards.

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