Applied Science

Board: Pearson
Extended certificate (1 A-level equivalent) course code: 601/7436/5
Diploma (2 A-level equivalent) course code: 601/7435/3

About the subject

The BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Applied Science are for students seeking an A-level standard science qualification who wish to continue their education through applied learning and who aim to progress to higher education or apprenticeships and ultimately employment in the applied science sector. Over 95% of universities (including Russell Group) and a wide range of employers highly value BTEC qualifications. A qualification in Applied Science can lead to many degree level science courses* including: Psychology, Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Medical professions, Food Science, Communication Industry, Satellite Communications and Materials Science. *when combined with appropriate A-level subjects.

Students will study across all three sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics covering topics including: fundamental chemical and physical principals, structure and function of cells, physiology and disease, astronomy and space science, electromagnetic waves and satellite communication amongst many other fascinating areas of cutting edge science.

We offer both the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science (single award, 1 A-level equivalent) and the BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Applied Science (double award, 2 A-level equivalent). The BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate is designed to be studied alongside two other Level 3 courses including BTECs and A-levels. The  BTEC Level 3 National Diploma is designed to be a substantive part of a 16-19 study programme with a strong science focus, and would be taken alongside one other Level 3 course including BTECs and A-levels. Both programs are studied over two years.

Learning styles

The courses are delivered via a range of practical and theory-based sessions with an emphasis on the application of scientific principles across Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students produce written reports, presentations, laboratory logs, case studies and research projects. . Assessment of the single award is weighted 42% by internal assessment of laboratory work, written work and presentations and 58% by externally set and assessed written exams. Assessment of the double award is weighted 54% by internal assessment of laboratory work, written work and presentations and 46% by externally set and assessed written exams

Subject Combinations and Progression

The additional subjects chosen may include another science subject from the following A-levels: Psychology, Geology, Environmental Science and Electronics, or, any other level 3 courses that brings the total up to 3-A level equivalents.  Students can progress directly into work, apprenticeships or a wide range of science-based degree level courses including: Biomedical Science, Sports Therapy, Pharmaceutical Science, Paramedic Science, Radiography, Biological Life Sciences, Nursing, Veterinary Nursing and Applied Chemistry.

The BTEC is comprised of eight (double) or 4 (single) units studied over 2 years. Students taking the double award will certify for the single after year 1.

The course structure for the double award is outlined below. Please note that single award students will complete the Year 1 units (see below) spread over a two-year programme of study.

Subject Modules and Assessment

Year 1:  

Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I:  
A theory based unit covering key concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
90 hours of study. (Biology = 30 marks; Chemistry = 30 marks; Physics = 30 marks).
Externally assessed: 3 x 40 minute exams sat in January of the first year.

Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques:  
A practical based unit introducing students to quantitative laboratory techniques (in titration and colorimetry), calibration, chromatography, calorimetry and laboratory safety.
90 hours of study.
Internally assessed via laboratory work and practical write-ups assessed throughout the first year.

Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills 
A practical based unit covering the stages involved and skills needed in planning a scientific investigation. Topics covered include enzymes, diffusion, plant growth, fuels & circuits.
120 hours of study
Externally assessed: supervised assessment and set practical task completed within a nine-day period, over two sessions: 1 x 3 hours + 1 x 1.5 hours sat in April/May of first year.

Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems 
A theory and practical based unit covering 3 human body systems (musculoskeletal, lymphatic and digestive).
60 hours of study
Internally assessed via a series of written case study research reports.

Year 2:  

Unit 5: Principles and Applications of Science II 
A theory based unit that builds on the fundamentals covered in Unit 1.
120 hours of study (Biology = 40 marks; Chemistry = 40 marks; Physics = 40 marks).
Externally assessed: 3 x 50 minute exams sat in January of the second year.

Unit 4: Laboratory Techniques and their Application 
A practical and theory based unit that covers the importance of health and safety in workplace laboratories, how data is stored and communicated and how organic compounds are made and tested industrially.
90 hours of study.
Internally assessed via written reports and laboratory work.

Unit 6: Investigative Project 
A practical based unit that enables students to gain an understanding and skills required to undertake an investigative project.
90 hours of study.
Internally assessed: students complete a scientific literature search and review to produce a plan before carrying out an investigative project.

Unit 16: Astronomy and Space Science 
A theory and practical based unit covering the principles and present-day understanding of developments in astronomy.
60 hours of study.
Internally assessed via a series of written reports on the principles of astronomy and the technology of space exploration, in addition to practical work observing day and night sky objects.

Entry requirements

3 x grade 4’s from three Single Award GCSE Sciences, or 2 x grade 4 from Double award GCSE Science + grade 4 in Maths. Grade 5’s in GCSE Sciences and Maths are preferred.