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Bioethics in the UK Curriculum

GCSE summary tables:

A level summary tables:

All exam boards

Science does not work in a vacuum: technological and scientific developments often bring with them ethical and moral dilemmas. These bioethical dimensions are increasingly being incorporated into core curricula for secondary schools and universities*.

This site is designed as a gateway to useful online resources for teaching about bioethical issues. Although we hope it will prove useful for the wider community, the specific intention has been to provide relevant links for teachers tackling the new GCSE, AS and A2 level science courses in England and Wales. As such, resources have been linked to relevant units within the current specifications for each exam board (accessed via links to the right).

Each page consists of a list of bioethical topics organised alphabetically and crossreferenced to the specifications in which they appear (use the scroll bar to access the full list of topics). Each column represents an exam board, or a specification within an exam board. So if there is a tick in the column, then the ethical issues asociated with that topic appear in that curriulum. The specific module, unit or page number can be viewed quickly by holding your mouse over each tick, and clicking on the ticks will lead you to more specific details. In addition, you can click on the links in the column headers to access all of the bioethical issues covered in that specification - you can always return to the top level by clicking "Bioethics home", at the bottom of the page. Each page has links to two sorts of resources: those that can be found on our own site, BioethicsBytes, and those that are from external sites**.

We welcome feedback and recommendations! Click here to email a member of the BioethicBytes team.

* Willmott and Willis (2008) "The increasing significance of ethics in the bioscience curriculum", Journal of Biological Education, 42:53-56 [available here]
** BioethicsBytes is not responsible for the content of external sites. Secondary teachers are also directed specifically to the Bioethics Education Project (BEEP) where further resources for post-16 teaching can be found.

UPDATED: 26th February 2008
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.