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Level 3 BTEC Extended Certificate/Diploma/Extended Diploma in Applied Science at Cambridge Regional College

Course description

For anyone who is interested in a scientific career then the Extended Diploma in Applied Science is an excellent place to start.  Equivalent to 3 A levels, it covers a broad range of subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths.  You will have the opportunity to develop relevant practical skills in these areas and learn to apply your knowledge to different situations.

We have a specialist, well equipped labs for Chemistry, Biology and Physics.  Our staff are very well qualified and passionate about delivering practical science – the chemistry lecturer is winner of STEM ENTHUSE award for science teaching in FE!

Over the two years there are broad range of units covered.  These include:
7 core units (compulsory)

• Principles and Applications of Science I (exam: externally marked)
• Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
• Science Investigation Skills (practical assessment and write up – externally marked)
• Laboratory Techniques and their Application
• Principles and Applications of Science II (exam: externally marked)
• Investigative Project
• Contemporary Issues in Science (practical assessment and write up – externally marked)

Specialist units (6 additional units are studied, and what is studied will vary from year to year):

• Physiology of Human Body Systems
• Genetics and Genetic Engineering
• Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques
• Applications of Organic Chemistry
• Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
• Electrical Circuits and their Application
• Practical Chemistry Analysis
• Materials Science

This course is also available on day release, where you will be able to achieve the Diploma.  Please see the part-time prospectus for details.

Entry requirements

One of the following:

• 5 GCSEs at grade 9 - 4 (A* - C) to include GCSE Maths. It is strongly recommended that you also have GCSE English at grade  9 - 4 (A* - C).


• Merit grade in an OCR or BTEC Certificate in related area (60-credit qualification) along with GCSE Maths and English at grades 9 - 4 (A* - C)
The Extended Diploma is equivalent to 3 A levels achieved over 2 years or 1 A level if Certificate is taken over year.

A firm offer of a place on the course is conditional on you:

• Attending a Welcome Event (a presentation and formal interview)
• Attending two compulsory Taster Days (week commencing 2nd July 2018)
• Achievement of GCSE results at the correct level (as stated above)
• A satisfactory reference.
In addition to the entry qualifications listed, the offer of a place on the course is subject to the outcomes of initial assessment, which will be taken at the College as part of the admissions process. Please note that entry criteria may vary quite significantly between courses at the same level. This is to take account of the specific skills needed for success on particular courses, the length of the course and the requirements for progression to the next level. Entry criteria are given as a guide, and the exact requirements in order to obtain a place on a particular course will be confirmed following attendance at a Welcome Event/Interview.


Students are expected to supplement their College attendance with at least ten hours of private study per week.  It is an academic course and 100% attendance to classes is expected. Tutorial support is given on 121 basis and targets set electronically and reviewed regularly.

The Extended Diploma is assessed by a range of methods including practical exercises, essays, projects and examinations.  Most will involve written and practical work which you will have to complete by strict deadlines.  This means it is very important to organise your time and spread your workload so that all deadlines can be met.

The assignments will be divided into a series of set tasks along with a clear explanation of what has to be achieved in order to obtain one of the following grades: Distinction* (highest grade), Distinction, Merit, Pass, Referral or Fail.

Financial information

We are committed to providing financial support to learners where it is available. We would actively encourage you to enquire about possible financial support as soon as you can. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for a contribution towards College costs such as kit, equipment, residential fees, meals, childcare etc. Enquiries can be made to

Future opportunities

As this qualification is equivalent to A levels, it allows similar progression routes to both University and into employment.  Students in the past have progressed on to broad range of Universities in many different areas of science including biochemistry, biomedical science, radiography, nursing, microbiology, genetics, physics, computing and biology.
Alternative, if you do not wish to progress to University, support is provided to help you find alternatives such as employment or apprenticeships.
For example you may wish to consider applying for a Level 4 HNC in Biological Sciences for Industry which you could study in college whilst working in the science industry.

Further information

If you need any more information about any of our courses, please request a copy of our full-time prospectus or contact our Information & Advice Team on 01223 226315.

Students who currently attend a Cambridge Area Partnership school should apply online via or by using the Cambridge Area Partnership application form (depending on your school). Please ask your careers teacher at school.

Once we have received your application, you will be invited to attend a college Welcome Event, which gives you and your parents/carers the opportunity to have a look around the College, talk to the tutors and ask any questions you may have.

We look forward to seeing you at the College soon!

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 05 September 2018
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Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Information and Advice Team
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 01223 226315
    • Email address: