World Wide Web Links Page

BioTopics is obviously not responsible for the content of external sites listed (Over 150 at the last count).
I have spent some time checking the accuracy of quite a few links, but I guess I also need to update and expand some bits and contract others!
Please let me know if any of the links are broken, or irrelevant, or if you wish to suggest a link.

In the past it has not been my practice to put external weblinks on my main teaching pages, but in the more recent ones I have added a "web references" section at the end. Many of these include references to sections within Wikipedia which is in my opinion the most useful single reference work on the web.
However, some articles deserve to be taken with a pinch of salt.
A spin-off of this, the WikiEducator is an evolving community intended for the collaborative: planning of education projects linked with the development of free content; development of free content on Wikieducator for e-learning; work on building open education resources (OERs) on how to create OERs. networking on funding proposals developed as free content.

Main categories below:

Science magazines    Examination boards   Curriculum stuff    Educational quangos   Other Biology and Science sites run by teachers  
Bioethics sites   Commercial sites covering Biology    BBC websites   Other support links     Images    Institutions    Scientific Museums    
Basic Biological topics (Microscopy, Microbiology, Ecology, Genetics, Organ transplants, Fungi, Lichens, Earthworms, Malaria, On-line University courses)
Biological diversions ( gory stuff, cerebral stuff, inspirational stuff)

Science magazines

Each of these magazines has an on-line presence, but their main thrust is the printed version.

This should be the current cover of New Scientist I can wholeheartedly recommend New Scientist magazine as an interesting read, published weekly, whether you wish to simply dip into it for updating or for interesting articles.
If you subscribe to this personally as I do, you can access the archive of accumulated material from recent years.

I wish this was available when screw-worms were on the syllabus! And what about the eyelets of Langerhans! (sic). Here is an inspirational tale about osmosis that I pinched from 1992.

Scientific American is a slightly heavier read, published monthly. It often collects together useful articles on important themes.

Current cover of Nature Nature is an altogether more serious (weekly) scientific journal, although some students devour it avidly.
You might want to recommend others!


Examination boards

There are only a few UK examination boards these days. Clicking on these logos will take you to the main homepage for the boards, and there are references in the text below to specific Biology specifications (new word for syllabuses):
AQA - assessment and qualifications alliance

Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations
Welsh Joint Education Council
Council for the Curriculum 
Examinations & Assessment - (Northern Ireland)
AQA's current GCSE specification is GCSE Biology Specification code: 8461.
Specification is here: 8461
AQA now offer the following AS and A level specifications: 7401/7402 AS and A-level Biology - Teaching from: September 2015 - core content is "largely the same" as the previous specification.
They offer the following assessment resources (Specimen papers and past AS and A2 papers) ....

Pearson Edexcel's GCSE Biology specification can be found here.

Edexcel have 2 new A level specifications: Biology A (Salters-Nuffield) from 2015 and Edexcel AS and A level Biology B (2015)

OCR currently boasts two new specs:
Biology A - H020, H420 (from 2015) "designed with a content-led approach and provides a flexible way of teaching".
Biology B (Advancing Biology) - H022, H422 (from 2015) "designed so students study biology using an engaging, context-based approach."
Links to individual specifications in the text on the left

WJEC offers a page of Biology GCSE (from 2016) GCSE -available in Wales only. Links to individual specifications in the text on the left


Curriculum stuff

The UK national curriculum has been under review. If you drill down through the options you will find some more information about what is expected, but the Science key stage 4 Statutory content (for instance) is not very detailed.


Educational quangos

Nuffield Foundation: assert that under 'Education', they aim to influence education policy and practice, ensuring all young people develop the understanding and skills required to play an informed role in society. and Under 'Teachers' you can find out about our education projects and free teaching resources from the links on this page.

ASE - The Association for Science Education is an impressive organisation which holds regular and very informative meetings. The ASE styles itself as "the professional association for teachers of science". It was formed in 1963 by the merger of the Science Master's Association and the Association of Women Science Teachers, but it can trace its origins back to 1900.


Other Biology and Science sites run by teachers

I have removed a lot of dead links in this section.
Perhaps there are some sites out there that deserve to take their place.
Biologyguide has been through a few changes in recent years
It was created in 2004 and designed by Simon Bluhm BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences (2004-2007) University of St Andrews, and now MBChB FRCA .
He also acknowledges help from Anna Wicking (Head of Biology, Manchester Grammar School) .
It "has grown to be one of the best revision websites for AS and A level Biology students in the UK."
It covers most examination boards but it is based on the latest AQA specifications - (strong on key words and bullet pointing),
BiologyGuide17 (39K)

Educational Materials by D G Mackean - a force to be reckoned with for the last few decades! This site - presumably put together by his son Ian - offers teaching resources for Biology GCSE & IGCSE.

GCSE.com: revising revision (???) (like this site) was also developed on RISCOS computers, but by Andrew P. Harmsworth, and it mostly covers physics and maths, and English too.


Bioethics sites

Bioethics is a discipline of increasing importance. As such, it is now a component of many Biology courses at Higher Education, but also features in the specifications for both A levels and now GCSE Science courses.

BioEthics Education Project
Here students can find: And teachers can find: teaching resources matched to A level syllabi (sic)

This site hosts a collection of resources to assist in the teaching of bioethics, with particular emphasis on multimedia materials (film, TV, streamed media) as case studies.

Possibly in the wrong place, or worthy of a category of its own

Ben Goldacre is a writer, broadcaster and doctor, quite dedicated to the debunking of those who would mislead us about scientific topics, or have us misunderstand the significance of scientific results, or debase the processes of science. He is well known for his Bad Science column in the Guardian, as well as his Bad Science website, which hosts a number of quite active Blogs and archives his writings. And there's a Bad Science book too.


Commercial sites covering Biology

Biology Study Guides - SparkNotes are a patchy set of American study guides/revision notes by Barnes and Noble, broken up by lots of adverts. The level at which they are pitched may suit some AS/A level students.

S-Cool! supports a number of subjects at GCSE, AS and A level and also gives information about careers. Many topics have a snappy web-centred style, without being overly dense with information. The site hosts discussion groups and offers support to registered teachers.

Revision Centre provides some notes intended as aids for your revision, covering Meiosis, Mitosis, Life Processes, Classification of Living Things, Cells / Tissues / Organs, Genetic Terminology, Diffusion, Pollution, Leaching / Eutrophication, Brain / Nervous System, Neurone Structure, Human Skin, Human Kidneys, Transportation in a Plant, Leaf Structure.
They add that these are by no means cover everything you need to know!


BBC websites

Purely educational websites

The BBC's educational efforts on the web seem to serve Biology quite effectively. Some competitors (those who charge for their material) are rather put out by the presence of the BBC on the web.

Bitesize biology has been updated and provides learner guides and video clips designed to support the latest GCSE and IGCSE Biology curricula

The original BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Biology website has been archived and no longer updated, but it includes links to material specific to each exam board.

BBC Science & Environment News is a regularly updated section with links to easily assimilated material.

Perhaps I should also highlight the BBC Education News Channel.

TV program support websites

The BBC Science and Nature home pages are now on separate web pages.

In fact the science webpage is not being updated but it serves as a link to other sections such as the news science and environment section of the news.

BBC Nature [Earth?] takes a different tack ...

One of my favourite BBC programs is Countryfile.


Other support links

Practical Biology provides teachers of biology at all levels with experiments that demonstrate a wide range of biological concepts and processes. Each practical may be used alone or as a starting-point for open-ended investigations or enhancement activities, such as clubs or open-day events. Experiments are placed within real-life contexts, with links to carefully selected further reading, enabling teachers to show relevance and illustrate the key principles of How Science Works. The website also promotes the sharing of skills and experiences of making experiments work in the classroom, and includes information and guidance for technicians.

Other sites for practical science:

The Nuffield practical collection website which provides all teachers of chemistry with a wide range of experiments to illustrate concepts or processes, as starting-points for investigations and for enhancement activities such as club or open day events. It also enables the sharing of skills and experience of making experiments work in the classroom.

The Practical Physics website is for teachers of physics, enabling them to share their skills and experience of making experiments work in the classroom.

CLEAPSS is an advisory service providing support in science and technology for a consortium of local authorities and their schools. Independent schools, post-16 colleges, teacher training establishments, curriculum developers and others can apply for associate membership. Its main use is as a source of information about health and safety issues in laboratories.

Microbiologyonline "has been devised by the Society for General Microbiology, the leading UK professional body for scientists who work in all areas of microbiology.
This inspirational online resource supports the teaching and learning of microbiology in the classroom across the key stages.
It explores how microbes can be friend and foe and most importantly, why we need these invisible organisms to live. Microbiologyonline is authoritative and up to date."

ABPI Resources for Schools website provides curriculum related resources for use by teachers and their pupils. The resources have been developed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and many link topics studied in school to their application in industry and in research.

The National Centre for Biotechnology Education (at the University of Reading) - the first school biotechnology centre in the world - is at the forefront of Biotechnology education at all levels.
The NCBE supplies a range of high-quality enzymes exclusively for educational use and pages from their practical biotechnology guide can be easily downloaded as PDFs.

SAPS (Science and Plants for Schools) is an organisation with three main aims : The educational resources are very worth investigating:
"Practical investigations" leads you to a wealth of ideas for investigations and activities with plants. On this part of the site, SAPs publish a variety of student sheets, practical activities at various levels and project starters.
"Publications and resources" offers you support for teaching about plants in the curriculum. It does this through a diverse range of publications - some printed, others on the web.

The Royal Society of Chemistry Education Activities Page aims to cater for chemical scientists of all ages, by producing a wide range of resources for teachers, lecturers and students, delivering training and CPD courses, input into education policy and much more.
It also supports the Chemistry for Biologists website explaining the chemical principles underlying biology, which has a number of biochemical molecules on display in (the rather outdated) Chime format.

Molecule of the Month
This is probably only really relevant to higher level studies but you may find it very interesting, especially if you have the correct software installed on your computer.

The Centre for Bioscience, the Higher Education Academy promotes and supports high quality learning, teaching and assessment in UK higher education as part of the network of subject centres of The Higher Education Academy.

The Biology Project is an interactive online resource for learning biology developed at The University of Arizona. The Biology Project is fun, richly illustrated, and tested on 1000s of students. It has been designed for biology students at the college and high school level, but is useful for medical students, physicians, science writers, and all types of interested people.
ASU-Ask A Biologist is designed as an educational resource for students K-12, and their teachers and parents. Also originating from the Arizona State University, it seems to be aimed at younger students.

WAYNE'S WORD is a very comprehensive on-line textbook of Natural History, with a mind-boggling variety of fascinating sub-sections. There are dozens of articles arranged in sections such as Biology/Botany Trivia Some of this material is only concerned with the Flora and Fauna of North America, but much is of very general and genuine worldwide interest.
It is the work of Wayne P. Armstrong (alias Mr. Wolffia) Emeritus professor of Life Sciences at Palomar College, San Marcos california, who presides over on-line courses such as Biology 100.

On the subject of Duckweed, there is a very interesting site dedicated to the Charms of Duckweed, hosted by the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Biology Online "is the World's No.1 free resource for biology related information run by enthusiasts from all around the world and visited by over 25,000 people every day.".



This is a collection of fascinating images. The primary aim of this site is to provide students and schools with images and movies which have been created using research level equipment and techniques and also to illustrate specific points using animated clips and interactivity.

Wellcome images has some excellent images available on-line here.

Science Photo Library "is the leading source of high quality imagery for producers of educational material. Our continuously expanding collection has more than 300,000 images and 10,000 clips covering all curriculum subjects."

Medical and Scientific Illustrations by James A. (Jim) Perkins, MS, MFA, CMI



Biology4all from the University of Central Lancashire is an excellent support resource for teachers, pupils, and undergraduates. I find the Biotutors email discussion group to be a very supportive and useful forum for teachers.

The Royal Society of Biology is the UK’s professional body for biologists, representing more than 14,000 members working in industry, research, education and healthcare.

The Society has been created by the unification of the Biosciences Federation and the Institute of Biology, and is building on the heritage and reputation of these two organisations to champion the study and development of biology, and provide expert guidance and opinion.
The following organisations are members of the Biosciences foundation.

I have included them here for completeness, and also in order to inform students of the extent of subjects allied to Biology
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Biochemical Society
British Association for Psychopharmacology
British Ecological Society
British Mycological Society
British Neuroscience Association
British Pharmacological Society
British Society for Cell Biology
British Society for Developmental Biology
British Society for Immunology
British Society for Medical Mycology
British Society for Neuroendocrinology
British Society for Proteome Research
British Toxicological Society
Experimental Psychology Society
Genetics Society
Heads of University Biological Sciences
Royal Society of Biology (was the Institute of Biology)
The Institute of Horticulture
Laboratory Animal Science Association
Linnean Society
Nutrition Society
Physiological Society
Royal Microscopical Society
Society for Applied Microbiology
Society for Endocrinology
Society for Experimental Biology
Society for General Microbiology
Society for Reproduction and Fertility


Scientific Museums

The Natural History Museum aims to promote the discovery, understanding, enjoyment, and responsible use of the natural world. Its website is very comprehensive, although some useful (reference) sections of the site tend to get moved around - annoying linkers like me.

On the other hand, the Science Museum's website is more aimed at encouraging you to visit the museum, although its online stuff section is quite topical

The British Museum puts on a varied display of exhibitions.

The British Association for the Advancement of Science's 24 Hour Museum is the UK’s National Virtual Museum, offering a unique mix of dynamic content including daily arts and museum news as well as exhibition reviews and in-depth online trails. The site promotes publicly funded UK museums galleries, exhibitions and heritage attractions and seeks to develop new audiences for UK culture.



Microscopy-UK describes itself as a portal for enthusiast microscopists.

The CELLS alive! website "represents over 25 years of experience capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research." It is the work of James A. Sullivan, proprietor of Quill Graphics, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Westminster School hosts a site dedicated to its Old Boy Robert Hooke "one of the most neglected natural philosophers of all time. The inventor of, amongst other things, the iris diaphragm in cameras, the universal joint used in motor vehicles, the balance wheel in a watch, the originator of the word 'cell' in biology..."


WWF - The Global Conservation Organization has links to local WWF websites as well as useful educational and multimedia sections.

Greenpeace International "exists because this fragile Earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action."

Friends of the Earth: England, Wales and Northern Ireland "inspires solutions to environmental problems which make life better for people."

The British Ecological Society" is an active and thriving organisation with something to offer anyone with an interest in ecology."


Genetic Alliance UK seeks to improve the lives of people affected by genetic conditions by ensuring that high quality services and information are available to all who need them.

The Huntington's Disease Association provides information and advice to families, friends and health care professionals whose task it is to support Huntington's disease families.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust's stated aims are to understand, treat and cure Cystic Fibrosis. Its objectives are to:

Organ transplants

By increasing awareness they hope to encourage more people to sign on and register their wishes of donation, therefore increasing potential Organ and Tissue Donation. There are over 6000 people on the transplant waiting list. Approximately one third of them will die waiting for a transplanted organ.

UK Transplant is a website whose aim is to save or improve the lives of thousands of people every year through organ transplantation. It also has a section entitled Yes I donate.


Lichens - Natural History Museum


Interesting biological diversions on the web

Gory stuff

See if you enjoy the Edheads - Virtual Knee Surgery site where I carried out a Total Knee Replacement !

Alternatively you might investigate the Visible Human where you can go on a Guided Tour of the human body.

Cerebral stuff

Perhaps you would like to pit your brains against a few Biology Trivia and Quizzes ,

On the other hand you might like to browse through the current or back issues of the Molecule of the Month which is quite interesting.

Inspirational stuff

which may give you some ideas whilst you are away from the classroom:

Fun science galleries has a useful list of Amateur Scientist Sites.

You can check out the current and past Biology Site of the Week run by About (Biology).

Perhaps you might like to contribute some more ideas . . . .


Main categories above

Science magazines    Examination boards   Curriculum stuff   Educational quangos    Other Biology and Science sites run by teachers    
Bioethics sites   Commercial sites covering Biology    BBC websites    Other support links    Images     Institutions    Scientific Museums    
Basic Biological topics (Microscopy, Microbiology, Ecology, Genetics, Organ transplants, Fungi, Lichens, Earthworms, Malaria, On-line University courses)
Biological diversions ( gory stuff, cerebral stuff, inspirational stuff)    


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