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Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Science - AQA at Ralph Thoresby School

Course description

What causes Alzheimer’s disorder? How do pacemakers control heart rate? How is radiation used for both diagnosis and treatment of illness? Applied Science covers scientific content from across the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and puts it into the settings in which it is used on a daily basis. Students need to research independently, communicate their ideas effectively and demonstrate the ability to problem solve across a range of experimental contexts.

Course content

Students cover fundamental scientific principles, and the experimental and practical techniques associated with applied science. There is a particular emphasis on investigative skills and scientific research. This is alongside developing their understanding of the roles and skills of scientists and the public and media perceptions of science. There is the option for students to specialise within a particular area in Year 13.

Entry requirements

Certificate of Applied Science + Level 4 in GCSE English Language and/or Maths and CC+ in GCSE Science 


The course is a mixture of internally and externally assessed. Students will complete units at various points throughout the 2 years, and have the option of 1 resit opportunity for each exam:


What’s assessed

How it’s assessed

1.      Key concepts in Science

Key concepts in biology, chemistry and physics and how they are applied in industries

Written exam (June of Year 12)

1 hour 30 minutes

60 marks of multiple choice and short answer questions


2.      Applied experimental techniques

Rate of respiration

The light dependent reaction in photosynthesis

Volumetric analysis

Colorimetric analysis


Specific heat capacity

Portfolio (Year 12)

Practical assignments - 6 reports

Internally assessed


3.      Science in the modern world

Topical scientific issues from a variety of media sources

The public perception of science and the influence that the media have

The ethical, moral, commercial, environmental, political and social issues involved in scientific advances

The roles and responsibilities that science personnel carry out in the science industry

Written exam with pre-release material (June of Year 12)

1 hour 30 minutes

60 marks of multiple choice, short and extended answer questions


4.      The human body

The digestive system and diet

The musculoskeletal system and movement

How oxygen is transported in the blood and how physiological measurements can be applied

The structure and function of the nervous system and brain

Nerve impulses

Written exam (January of Year 13)

1 hour 30 minutes

60 marks of multiple choice and short answer questions


5.      Investigating science

Students choose one investigation from a list of titles provided and:

Prepare for a scientific investigation

Carry out the investigation and record results

Analyse results, draw conclusions and evaluate the investigation

Present the findings of the investigation to a suitable audience


Portfolio (Year 13)

Practical assignment – 1 investigation

Internally assessed


Option – 1 of the following

6a. Microbiology

6b. Medical physics

6c. Organic chemistry

Students research and write their own reports covering key content, practical techniques and their applications

Portfolio (Year 13)

Practical assignment

Internally assessed


The units are graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction. The overall qualification is graded as P, M, D or D*. Students must pass each unit in order to pass the qualification.

Further information

Further information

For further information see Miss Head.

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: 21 October 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Web url:

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