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Applied Science BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Richmond-upon-Thames College

Course description

The BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science will give you the opportunity to explore various science pathways. It is a course suitable for those who wish to pursue a science related career such as radiography, biomedical science, nursing, dietetics and physiotherapy. The course is also ideal for those wishing to go straight into employment as it will also prepare you for work if you do not wish to go to university. This course provides a novel approach to the learning of science, based on acquiring practical skills in the context of knowledge and understanding of the basic scientific concepts. You will have the opportunity to explore laboratory techniques and diagnostic testing used in scientific research and industrial organisations.

Course content

The qualification consists of studying nine units in the first year and nine units leading to the 90 credit diploma in the second year which include compulsory, as well as optional units. Units taught tend to look at the application of science centred on practical activities from which the theory is then drawn. This provides opportunities for you to develop your practical laboratory skills to a high level.

The BTEC level 3 in applied science is delivered in a variety of ways. There are laboratory-based practical assignments, supported by self-study, presentations, group work and discussion.


An example of typical unit combinations are for the extended diploma is shown below:

Year 1

  • Fundamentals of science
  • Working in the science industry
  • Scientific investigation
  • Biochemistry and biochemical techniques
  • Medical physics techniques
  • Chemical laboratory techniques

Selection of optional units:

Year 2

  • Perceptions in science
  • Using science in the marketplace
  • Microbiological techniques
  • Chemistry for biology technicians
  • Genetics and genetic engineering
  • Industrial applications of organic chemistry

Entry requirements

You will need:

5 GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and maths at grade C with double or triple science at grades CC or CCC (or GCSE double applied science at CC)


BTEC first applied science at merit/distinction with GCSE English and maths at grade C


Assessment is 100% coursework – as all units are portfolio based – with no exam. This is particularly suitable if you prefer portfolio assessment or find examinations particularly stressful. As coursework forms such an important part of this qualification, prospective students should realise that this creates a steady workload throughout the year.

Financial information

Annual cost between £50-£75 for trips, books and any personal equipment that may be required.

Future opportunities

This course provides a basis for progression into higher education and degree courses such as biology, chemistry, biomedical sciences, computing, nursing, radiography, pharmacology, forensic science and many others. The course also provides the appropriate background into employment with possible career-related further qualification. The pathways taken could be aligned to medical, forensic or industrial career options.

Further information

To find out more about this course please visit our website or contact us on or 020 8607 8302

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Richmond-upon-Thames College directly.

Last updated date: 19 October 2017
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