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Applied Science BTEC National Extended Certificate Level 3 at St Bernard's High School

Course description

This course will suit those students who wish to complement their other studies with a course that supports their general interest in the application of Biology, Chemistry and Physics to real life situations.

Course content

Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science 

This unit covers some of the key science concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. 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 

This unit introduces you to standard laboratory equipment and techniques, including titration, colorimetry, calorimetry, chromatography, calibration procedures and laboratory safety. 

Science Investigation Skills 

In this unit, you will develop the essential skills underpinning practical scientific investigations. As well as drawing on Unit 1 and Unit 2, these skills will be delivered through subject themes ranging from enzymes and diffusion to electrical circuits. The subject themes provide different contexts for the development of the investigative skills. 

Choice of Optional Unit 

You would complete one optional unit. We plan to offer a choice of 3 optional units, one each from Biology, Chemistry and Physics drawn from the larger complete list given in the specification.

Entry requirements

  • GCSE Science or GCSE Additional Science at Grade B plus
  • GCSE Science  or GCSE Additional Science at Grade C plus
  • GCSE Mathematics Point 5


  • GCSE Mathematics Point 5 plus
  • Grade B in any one of GCSE Biology, GCSE Physics, GCSE Chemistry plus
  • Grade C in any two of GCSE Biology, GCSE Physics, GCSE Chemistry


Internally set and marked assignments in Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques.

Task in Scientific Investigation Skills:

  • This will be assessed through a written taskbook worth 60 marks.
  • The task is set and marked externally and will
  • be completed in one sitting, within a supervised assessment period of one week.
  • The assessment task will assess your ability to plan, record, process, analyse and evaluate scientific findings, using primary and secondary information and data.

Written Examination in Principles and Applications of Science:

  • The examination is worth 90 marks, and is set and marked externally.
  • The exam will last one hour and 30 minutes.
  • The paper is split into three sections, each worth 30 marks:
  1. Section A – Biology
  2. Section B – Chemistry
  3. Section C – Physics

Internally set and marked assignments for one optional unit.


Future opportunities

This course will support a wide variety of career choices dependent on the other subjects studied.

Science investigative skills will help you in many scientific or enquiry-based learning courses in higher education, as well as prepare you for employment

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Bernard's High School directly.

Last updated date: 04 January 2017

Key information


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    • In line with current educational thinking, all Key Stage 5 courses have fully integrated the full range of Thinking Skills.  These ensure that our students develop life-long transferable skills, become independent and resilient learners and are ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.  These enable all students to be independent enquirers and creative thinkers who can be focused team workers and effective participators because they can be self-managers of their workload and thus reflective learners.

      All courses emphasise opportunities to develop the core skills of communication and ICT, with many also placing emphasis on application of number.  In addition, the process of learning is enhanced through a problem-solving approach to the curriculum which facilitates students in improving their own learning and performance. These skills dovetail with the development of independent learning, so crucial for a successful Sixth Form student. Students will have the opportunity to broaden their skills by participating in either of the following as part of their core curriculum: AS Citizenship, AS Government & Politics or an AS Critical Thinking Programme. These provide students with an additional AS qualification and increased UCAS points for university entry.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to undertake an Extended Project Qualification should they desire.  This is designed as a ‘stretch and challenge’ opportunity and is highly regarded by major universities and potential employers. All Sixth Form students also undertake a general RE course which focuses on transferable skills of research, debate and presentation.

      In order to support a healthy lifestyle, students also have the opportunity to continue with a range of PE and sporting activities.

      A full tutorial programme is offered which focuses on the needs of young adults as they make the transition from the school environment.  In addition, the ‘Gifted, Able and Talented’ Programme will offer the opportunity to attend external conferences, as well as Easter and Summer Schools.

      Work Experience and work shadowing can be arranged and are a valuable preparation for the next stage of a student’s career.