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BTEC Forensic Science Level 3 Diploma (double) at Cotswold Edge Sixth Form

Course description

Unit 1: Fundamentals of Science Students will investigate the quantities necessary in chemical reactions, the structure and functions of cells, the calorific value of different fuels and develop skills in communicating scientific information.

Unit 2: Working in the Science Industry The aim of this unit is to enable learners to gain knowledge and skills that an employee in the science industry needs to be an effective, efficient and safe member of a team. Learners will know communication practices, how laboratories are designed, how information is stored in laboratory information management (LIMS) and how to work safely in a scientific workplace.

Unit 4: Scientific Practical Techniques The aim of this unit is to enable learners to use a range of practical techniques used in science such as the analysis of substances, the separation of substances and the use of instruments/sensors. The variety of techniques in the content allows the unit to be tailored to reflect the focus of different areas of study e.g. forensic science, biology, chemistry, physics, electronics and environmental science.

Unit 18: Genetics and Genetic Engineering The students will develop understanding of the principles of Mendelian genetics and develop knowledge and practical techniques used in commercial, analytical and research laboratories. This will enable learners to appreciate that genes control all of the characteristics of living organisms.

Unit 31: Criminology This unit allows students to delve into the media’s role in the reporting of crime. Students will look at competing arguments about crime itself, its measurement, explanations of its causes and its portrayal by the media, and changes in the penal policy.

Unit 32: Forensic Evidence Collection and Analysis This unit enables learners to develop skills in using chemical, physical and biological techniques in the collection, analysis and reporting of forensic evidence. The unit also gives an overview of the methods used to present results.

Unit 3: Scientific Investigation In this unit, students will complete a scientific investigation using essential scientific protocols. This includes using correct scientific techniques, developing observational and manipulative skills, gaining and understanding of analysing data and producing a meaningful, acceptable report appropriate for the scientific workplace.

Unit 5: Perceptions of Science Students will gain an understanding of the developments in scientific theories and theory testing. They will develop an appreciation of the difficulties faced by many theorists and the need for acceptance by the scientific community.

Unit 6: Using Mathematical Tools in Science This is an important unit, not only because it provides students with invaluable revision and development on some of the more interesting and challenging mathematical concepts from GCSE, but also because students will develop numeracy skills that will help with whatever career they follow.

Unit 8: Using Statistics for Science This unit allows students to develop statistical tools covering various applications in science and beyond. Advanced statistical tools such as the chi-squared, t-test and correlations will be brought to life using many examples.

Unit 34: Criminal Psychology Students will look at applying psychology to criminal behaviour and take a psychological study into a crime. They will also consider the psychological theories behind the criminal justice system.

Unit 35: Applications of Forensic Psychology Students will evaluate how psychology is used in the forensic field and how psychology can be used to profile criminals.

Unit 38: Traffic Accident Investigation In this unit, students will consider the main causes of road traffic accidents and how injuries can occur. The usefulness of science in investigating road traffic accidents will be considered and put into practise in a simulated road traffic accident investigation.

Course content

See above.

Entry requirements

2 C’s in Science or Merit at Level 2 – preferably C in Maths.


Assessment is assignment-based and depends upon a portfolio of evidence. This includes practical investigations as well as course work you produce e.g. photographs, video footage, computer print-outs, research. Work will be marked by your Science tutor, followed by verification carried out at the school and then checked by Edexcel. There are 6 units to be studied in Year 12, followed by an additional 7 units in Year 13.

Future opportunities

This qualification is widely recognised as providing students with excellent problem-solving, analytical, communication and research skills all of which are transferable and highly desired by employers and universities alike. As such, this course can lead you in the direction of different possible pathways, such as further education, apprenticeship and employment.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cotswold Edge Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 21 July 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years