Accessibility links

Applied Science BTEC National Extended Diploma Level 3 (Edexcel) at Hackney Community College

Course description

The course consists of 18 units; six core units plus twelve specialist units, and is taken over two years. It is equivalent to 3 A Levels. 
In biology you will study topics such as cell structure, immunology, disease, body systems, biochemistry, reproduction and physiology, gene technology etc and undertake practical experiments. 
In chemistry you will study organic and inorganic processes and reactions. You will learn about atomic structure, bonding, rates of reaction, enthalpy and entropy as well as gaining experience in the laboratory. You will also learn to analyse experimental information including ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, use of the Beer-Lambert law etc. 
The units in physics cover electrical circuits and energy, sources of energy as well as the development of new/alternative energy sources. You also study medical physics, including ultrasound, diagnostic imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radiotherapy. In unit 20 astronomy and cosmology are studied. 
For mathematics you will learn new statistical techniques. In unit 6 and 8 you will develop your understanding of statistics including Chi square, t-testing, regression correlation. In unit 7 you will use trigonometric methods to solve scientific problems and look at the applications of calculations such as circular measure (e.g.) objects undergoing circular motion such as the planets, the London Eye etc; 
The structure of the course means that students with appropriate GCSEqualifications can also take an (AS) subject alongside their main BTEC programme. Subjects that students tend to take are: Maths, Psychology, Sociology, Classical Civilisation and Art – or GCSE Maths / English if necessary.

Course content

The BTEC course is very “hands-on” and 80% of the teaching takes place in subject specific specialist laboratories. Maths and Functional Skills are taught in standard or IT classrooms. You will learn by a combination of formal teaching in your specialist subjects as well as the use of research, tests, assessments, experimental procedure and note taking. You will also have the opportunity to present a course related topic of interest to your peers, and produce a scale model of an energy efficient building in physics. Learning includes use of ICT in the classroom and laboratory via laptops, library use and answering questions from hand-outs and assignments. The one hour functional skills component will also help you improve your writing technique over the year. Learning also takes place outside of the laboratory and classroom in the form of trips to the science museum, and Hospital path lab visits.

The course runs over 3.5 days a week. Each specialist subject has four hours of contact time per week and is taught in two 2 hour blocks. However, if you add an AS Level or GCSE to your BTEC course it will require further study in the library and at home.


Entry requirements

You will need 4 GCSEs at grade A-C, including science or a BTEC First Diploma in Applied Science (Merit or Distinction). Students without a GCSE in English or Maths will be expected to add a GCSE to their programme.



The full Extended Diploma has 6 core units and 12 optional units. As part of your course you will study units in biology, chemistry, physics and statistics, and undertake a substantial amount of laboratory practical work which requires writing up and analysis as part of your course assessment. It is assessed and graded internally by a combination of tests, specific unit assignments and laboratory practical work. By the end of the first year you will be expected to have completed 9 of your 18 units.

Financial information

·         16-18 year-olds do not have to pay tuition fees on FE courses

·         many 16-18 year-olds may be eligible to receive a bursary

·         many 16-18 year-olds can receive a Free College Meals pass (depending on eligibility)

·         Transport for London student travel cards are available.

·         Re-sits, CRB fees and other incidental costs are to be paid when due.

Future opportunities

Higher Education or employment. The course prepares you for, and is suitable for, university and a range of higher education courses and jobs including: Radiography, Engineering, Nursing, Pharmacy, Chemical Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Psychology, Genetics, Veterinary Science, Biochemistry and Forensic science.

Further information

Before you start your lessons, you’ll take part in induction sessions, where you’ll meet other students and find out all about the support that’s available to you. This includes learning about the Virtual Learning Environment, tutorials and the campus facilities. All students can receive free, confidential and impartial advice on things like: your next step in education or your career, finance, housing, health, immigration, benefit claims, legal problems, sexual health, drugs, staying safe, personal / emotional concerns and other issues.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hackney Community College directly.

Last updated date: 18 April 2016
Provider logo

Key information