Biology Competitions

Society of Biology

British Biology Olympiad


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

The 2020 competition took place between 31st January - 7th February 2020.


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 with publicly recognised certificates and medals. 

The BBO is open to students in post-16 education studying at school or college. The competition consists of two, 45-minute multiple choice papers to be taken online under staff supervised exam conditions. Top scoring students 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). 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 2020 in Nagasaki, Japan.

BBO 2020 - Students competing in the British Biology Olympiad take two, 45-minute multiple choice papers between 31st January - 7th February 2020.

IBO 2020 UK Team Selection Final - The top-scoring sixteen students in the BBO will be invited to attend a residentital at the University of Warwick in mid-April 2020, 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 2020 in Nagaski, Japan (3rd - 11th July 2020); Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance will be consulted in planning for this event. The team will undergo further training in Reading and and London in advance of the IBO 2020.