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This is an exciting, practical, industry-focused course with an emphasis on technical laboratory skills. It is ideal for students seeking grounding in all three of the major science disciplines: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

You can select to study either an Extended Certificate or Extended Diploma:

The Extended Certificate is equivalent to one A Level and when combined with other suitable subjects would enable progression into careers or higher education courses that require knowledge of technical lab skills or an understanding of the scientific method.

The Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A Levels and carries the same UCAS points tariff, so you will not study additional subjects within your core Study Programme. In the second year you can specialise in either Analytical and Forensic Science or in Biomedical Science. This course is excellent for those looking to progress on to a science-related subject at university, a degree level Apprenticeship, or those seeking a science-based career.

Previous groups have completed trips to various laboratories and science employers, including chemical labs, biomedical labs and breweries. Extended Certificate students visit an observatory to learn about Astronomy.

Extended Certificate

Year 1 units:

  • Principles and Applications of Science 1
  • Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

Year 2 units:

  • Science Investigation Skills
  • Astronomy and Space Science


Extended Diploma

You can choose to specialise in either Biomedical Science or Analytical and Forensic Science.

Year 1 units:

  • Principles and Applications of Science 1
  • Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
  • Science Investigation Skills
  • Laboratory Techniques and their Application
  • Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
  • Genetics and Genetic Engineering

Year 2 units:

  • Principles and Applications of Science 2
  • Investigative Project
  • Contemporary Issues in Science
  • Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
  • Applications of Organic Chemistry
  • Medical Physics Applications
  • Biomedical Science or Forensic Evidence – Collection and Analysis

As a minimum, you will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4/C or above
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4/C or above
  • a GCSE in one of the core Sciences grade 4/C or above
  • plus two more GCSEs grade 4/C or above

It is strongly recommended you have:

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 5 or above
  • a GCSE in Science or Applied Sciences grade 5 or above


Assessment is a mixture of coursework and exams.

  • Extended Certificate: coursework (42%) and exams (58%)
  • Extended Diploma: coursework (58%) and exams (42%).

The exams are both written and practical. Exams are on specific units and are modular in nature; those sat in Year 1 and early in Year 2 can be re-sat. Coursework activities take a variety of forms including demonstration of practical techniques, written reports and preparation of Science literature, presentations and videos.

Previous students have gone on to study a wide range of science related degrees or to work in a range of science related careers and Apprenticeships.

Possible degrees include; Nursing, Midwifery, Paramedic Science, Medicine, Biological Science, Sports Science, Environmental Science, Veterinary Science, Primary Education, Physiotherapy and Forensics. Other routes include; Laboratory Technician, Health Worker, Pharmacy Assistant or Optician.

Even if you eventually decide not to pursue a career in science, the skills that you develop by studying Applied Science are transferable and valuable. Skills developed across the course include critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, independence, report writing and presentation skills.

Are BTEC qualifications as valuable as A Levels?

Yes, they are well regarded by universities and employers alike. They have an equal UCAS points tariff and some of the best universities highly regard BTEC Applied Science and value the practical skills that BTEC students bring.

Are BTEC qualifications easier than A Levels?

No, they are assessed differently to A Levels so may suit some learners better but the subject knowledge you acquire will be at the same level.