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BTEC Level 3: Applied Science at Wigston College

Course description

BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Applied Science is a vocational course that is equivalent in content to an AS-level. The content of the course covers all three major science disciplines and how this knowledge is employed in real situations and by various industries and organisations that use science. There are 2 mandatory units;1 externally assessed and 1 internally assessed. Learners must complete and achieve at pass grade or above for both these units. You can continue this course for another year if successful to gain a BTEC Extended Certificate which is equivalent in the content to an A-level.

Course content

Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science (Externally assessed) Scientists and technicians working in science must have a good understanding of core science concepts. The topic areas covered in this unit include: animal and plant cells; tissues; atomic structure and bonding; chemical and physical properties of substances related to their uses; waves and their application in communications. Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques (Internally assessed) Learners will be introduced to quantitative laboratory techniques, calibration, chromatography, calorimetry and laboratory safety, which are relevant to the chemical and life science industries. You will also have the opportunity to calibrate equipment and will be encouraged to be aware of the safety aspects of given laboratory procedures and techniques. Extended Certificate Content: (If all aspects of the Certificate are at Pass): Unit 3: Science Investigation skills (Externally assessed 58%) Learners will cover the stages involved and the skills needed in planning a scientific investigation: how to record, interpret, draw scientific conclusions and evaluate. In this unit, you will develop the essential skills underpinning practical scientific investigations. These skills will be acquired through subject themes ranging from enzymes and diffusion to electrical circuits. This unit is examined by a written task set and an assessed practical investigation. Unit 8: *Physiology of Human Body Systems (Internally assessed 42%) Learners will focus on the physiological make up of three human body systems (musculoskeletal, lymphatic and digestive), how the systems function and what occurs during dysfunction. *to be confirmed

Entry requirements

Students should have GCSE grades ‘CC/55’ in Core and Additional Science and at least a ‘5’ grade in Mathematics before starting the course. Students will need at least 6 grade A*-C GCSEs 


The external assessment is a 90 minutes exam of Unit 1 that constitutes 50% of the final grade of the Certificate. The paper is split into three sections, each worth 30 marks: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The paper will include a range of question types, including multiple choice, calculations, short answer and open response. Internal assessment is based on a portfolio of work completed in College and through independent learning on Unit 2. This will be 50% of the overall grade. For internally-assessed units, the format of assessment is an assignment taken after the content of the unit has been delivered. An assignment may take a variety of forms, including practical and written types. An assignment is issued to learners as an assignment brief with a defined start date, a completion date and clear requirements for the evidence that they need to provide. There may be specific observed practical components during the assignment period. Grading: Distinction (D), Merit (M), Pass (P) and Ungraded (U)

Financial information

Leicestershire Post 16 Bursary Students Students are able to apply to us for support to overcome any barriers to learning

Future opportunities

Learners who have completed this qualification in a year may progress to further learning at Level 3 to a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate The requirements of the qualification will mean that learners develop the transferable and higher order skills which are valued by higher education providers and employers. The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers* as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many relevant courses if taken alongside other Level 3 qualifications as part of a programme of learning. The practical experience you gain will be invaluable to begin careers such as a trainee laboratory technician in industries such as contract analysis, oil, biopharmaceuticals, water treatment, and polymers. Employers in these industries will appreciate your ability to follow written scientific procedures and your desire to ensure accuracy by using techniques correctly.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification contact us via email at, tel 0116 288 1611 and view our

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: 09 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September