Boyle was the eldest son of Sir Edward Boyle, 2nd Baronet and succeeded to his father's baronetcy in 1945. He was educated at Eton and graduated from Christ Church, Oxford in 1949. From 1942-45, he was a temporary junior administration officer at the Foreign Office. He worked at Bletchley Park in intelligence.
In 1950, he entered the Parliament as MP for Birmingham Handsworth, a seat he would hold until his retirement in 1970. During this time, he was also: Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Under-Secretary of State for Air, from 1951-52 and to the Under-Secretary of State for Defence in 1952; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Supply from 1954-55; Economic Secretary to the Treasury from 1955-56; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education from 1957-59; Financial Secretary to the Treasury from 1959-62; Minister of Education from 1962-64 and Minister of State for Education and Science in 1964.
In 1970, Boyle was awarded a life peerage as Baron Boyle of Handsworth, of Salehurst in the County of Sussex and became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds that year. From 1970-81, he was a Trustee of the British Museum, Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of UK Universities from 1977-78 and was awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the Leeds and Southampton in 1965, Bath in 1968, Sussex in 1972 and Liverpool in 1981.
In 1978 he had been due to deliver the Reith lectures for the BBC. Despite 2 years preparation time, he withdrew with 3 months notice.
Boyle died unmarried and childless in 1981 and his life peerage naturally became extinct, whilst his baronetcy passed to his brother, Richard.