Biology Competitions

Society of Biology

British Biology Olympiad


The British Biology Olympiad (BBO) is open to students around the world.

The 2018 competition will place between 23rd - 31st January 2018. Teachers can now register their students for the competition until the deadline of 12th January 2018.


The BBO challenges and stimulates students with an interest in biology to expand and extend their talents. It enables students to demonstrate their knowledge and to be suitably rewarded and publicly recognised by the award of medals, certificates and other prizes. It is hoped that competing in the BBO will encourage students already interested in this valuable, wide-ranging and rewarding subject to continue their study beyond A level.

The BBO is open to students in post-16 education studying at school or college. The competition consists of two, one-hour multiple choice papers to be taken online under staff supervised exam conditions. Top scoring students are rewarded with publicly recognised certificates and medals, and will be offered the opportunity to attend an award ceremony in London. 

In addition to encouraging and rewarding pupils in their studies, the BBO is the first stage in selecting a team to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO). Students can only progress to team selection if they have been studying in a UK school for the two years preceding the IBO. The IBO seeks to challenge by both theory and practical tests some of the top pre-university biology students in the world, with over sixty countries taking part. The UK teams have had considerable success at IBO and we are very grateful to BBSRC for its continued support of the UK team's participation.

Team selection for the IBO 2018 in Tehran, Iran

BBO 2018 - Students competing in the British Biology Olympiad take two, one-hour multiple choice papers between 23rd - 31st January 2018.

Team selection 1 - The top Gold medal winners from the BBO will be invited to take a ninety-minute written paper in early March.

Team selection 2 - Sixteen students will then invited to the University of Warwick in mid-April, where they will take part in practical assessments and an additional written paper. Four of them will then be selected to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad 2018 in Tehran, Iran (15th - 22nd July). The team will undergo further training in Reading and and London in advance of the IBO 2018.