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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study BTEC Applied Science?

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The UK is facing a skills shortage in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) subjects. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for those who have skills in these subject areas. Science lies at the core of STEM, providing you with analytical and problem solving skills, teaching you to think, investigate and come up with solutions.

This is a full time course for those who wish to pursue a career in the Biological Science / Biomedical field.  The course will provide you with a good grounding in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and some Mathematics, with the optional units giving you specialist understanding of applications in the field of Biology.

What can it lead to?

Most students who complete a BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science progress to university, where a wide range of degree courses are on offer to students such as Forensics, Radiography, Biomedical Science, Pharmacology, Microbiology or Nutrition.

Alternatively, you may progress to an apprenticeship or directly into employment such as laboratory work. Employers highly value the skills gained by science students.   

How is the course organised?

Board: Edexcel / Pearson

This is a two year full time course which is made up of 7 mandatory units and 6 optional units:


   Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science

• Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills

• Unit 4: Laboratory Techniques and their Application

Unit 5: Principles and Applications of Science II

• Unit 6: Investigative Project

Unit 7: Contemporary Issues in Science.

Some examples of the optional units are: Physiology, Medical Physics, Microbiology, Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways.

How is the course assessed?

Individual units will be graded as Pass (P), Merit (M) or Distinction (D). At the end of the qualification the points are added up to create an overall grade, ranging from PPP to D*D*D*.

Year 12 assessment (7 units)

Unit 1               3 x 40 mins exam papers

Unit 3               Practical exam followed by 1h 30min exam paper

Other units       internally set assignments


Year 13 assessment (6 units)

Unit 5               3 X 50 mins exam papers

Unit 7               2 hours 30 mins exam paper

Other units       internally set assignments

You must achieve a minimum Pass grade in all the mandatory units to achieve this qualification.

What do I need to qualify for this course?

The General entry requirements are five GCSEs grades 9-4 for an Advanced Vocational programme, including English Language, grade 5 and above in Maths and 55 in Science.

You need to demonstrate an interest in science and to have an intention to progress into a Science related career.  As part of the course is assessed through coursework assignments, you must have excellent attendance and good organisation skills.  You will have to manage your coursework deadlines, because if you missed a deadline you would not be able to achieve a merit or distinction grade for that assignment.

Who are the teachers?

You will be taught each unit by a teacher who is a specialist in the subject area.  There are currently four teachers in the science department, with many years’ combined experience of teaching their subject at advanced level and who hold BSc, Masters degrees and pHD with postgraduate certificates in their field of education.   

The science department has three specialist, recently refurbished, fully equipped laboratories.

For further information, contact Dr N Singh

For further information about the course, visit

What do students say about the course?

"I particularly enjoy the physiology part of the course, understand drug interactions with specific receptors and neurotransmitters, it makes you think about why we behave in a certain way and how we adapt to the environment."

"I enjoyed the practical activities, they made chemistry come to life! "

What else should I know about?

The science department is affiliated to the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

There will be plenty of opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities such as conferences, visits and field trips.  You will also be expected to complete a work experience placement.

We subscribe to weekly scientific journals and Science apps. Some of the journals are also available to read online.