Btec National Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Science


Our Department Vision

To inspire and empower our students to make exceptional progress in science, to ensure they reach their academic potential and have the tools to apply scientific reasoning and logical thinking to everyday life and STEM based careers.

If you are considering a future career in science then Applied Science is an excellent subject to study. It covers a wide range of topics across biology, chemistry and physics and will allow you to acquire a high level of practical laboratory skills from which the theory is then drawn. A Btec qualification will mean that you will develop the transferable and higher­ order skills that are highly regarded by both Universities and employers. This is a versatile course and can be studied alongside other courses, for example combine Applied Science with Health and Social Care to progress to nursing or pharmaceutical careers. 

This BTEC course is taught over two years and consists of externally assessed units, exams and coursework. It is very practical with plenty of opportunities to implement the theories that are studied. You will perform a variety of laboratory-based practical assignments, and through this you will learn how to work safely within a laboratory environment and to use maths and statistics to analyse experimental data. The learning takes a variety of forms and in addition to the practical work there are supported self-study assignments, presentations and discussions that are based on real workplace situations, activities and demands. 

BTEC Applied Science is taught by subject specialists in well equipped laboratories with an amazing technical team to ensure that all students are supported. The course includes specialist speakers, trips and visits to relevant organisations to enhance your learning experience. You will be supported in your coursework and assessments throughout to ensure your progress.

Btec Level Study

The programme of study will be based Pearsons Btec Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Science.


The program consists of four teaching units.

Year 12: This covers two units of study of which, one is internally assessed and one externally assessed.   

Unit 1 - Principles and application of Science 1 

  • 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.

  • This unit is assessed through an examination worth 90 marks with a total time of 2 hours, undertaken in three timed sessions of 40 minutes for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The examination is taken in January.

Unit 2 - Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

  • Students will be introduced to quantitative laboratory techniques, calibration, chromatography, calorimetry and laboratory safety, which are relevant to the chemical and life science industries.

  • Internally assessed - There are four assignments to be completed before the end of Year 12.

Year 13:  - This covers two units of study of which, one is internally assessed and one externally assessed.   

Unit 3 - Science investigation skills

  • Students will cover the stages involved and the skills needed in planning a scientific investigation: how to record, interpret, draw scientific conclusions and evaluate.
  • This unit will be assessed through two part external exam; Part A, is a practical exam and Part B; a written task worth 60 marks. The task is set and marked by Pearson and will be completed in one sitting, within a supervised assessment session timetabled by Pearon.

Unit 8 -  Human Physiology

  • The students study the physical and chemical systems in the human body.  This includes musculoskeletal, lymphatic, digestive systems and how the systems function and what occurs when disease or dysfunction affects the systems.

  • Internally assessed - There are 3 assignments to be completed by May.

Essential Student Qualification

We expect students to have at least a grade 4 in Science at GCSE 

Desirable Student Qualifications

  • English GCSE grade 4 or above.

  • Mathematics GCSE Grade 4 or above.

A summary of the External Examination:

Year 12:  In January

Exam paper








Year 13: In January

Exam paper


Part A

Practical exam

Part B

Written exam


Teaching and Learning Styles


  • Developing and doing experiments and try to interpret their results and keep these results in a lab book. A methodical and meticulous approach will be imperative.

  • Use and develop critical and imaginative thinking, communication skills e.g. discussion, writing, summarising, presentations.

  • Learn to research and reference material.

  • Learn to select, organise, present and interpret data.

  • Develop your appreciation of the social, economic, environmental and technological importance of the ‘how science works’ element.

Higher Education Courses

  • The BTEC Extended certificate in Applied Science is an excellent base for university studies in health care, such as biomedical science, pharmacy and pharmaceutical science, pharmacology, physiotherapy, audiology, nursing, radiography and optometry. 

  • It could also lead to a degree in Engineering or Finance & Accounting.

Extra Curricular

Subjects taught by specialist teachers to ensure deeper understanding.

Lots of opportunities for trips; for example, to the bakery, BP laboratory, Middlesex University laboratory to name a few.

Intervention through sessions after school to support students with upcoming exams/assessments.

Careers & Employment

It covers a wide range of topics across biology, chemistry and physics and will allow you to acquire a high level of practical laboratory skills from which the theory is then drawn. This BTEC course is very practical with plenty of opportunities to implement the theory that you learn. It is mainly coursework based therefore allowing you to be in control of your own progress by checking your thinking and understanding with the teacher.

The Btec qualifications are highly respected route to help you become ready to take up employment at an appropriate level either directly after achieving the qualification, or via the stepping stone of Higher Education (HE) in college or university. Students go on to University to study various course including Biomedical Science, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Science, including non-scientific related career paths.

Recommended Reading


Bill Bryson: A short History of Nearly Everything

James Gleick - Chaos: Making a New Science

F Annets - Applied Science L3 BTEC National, Pearson Education, 2010

Websites: - Royal Society of Chemistry website – resources and videos to support the learning of chemistry. - National STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Centre website – resources for supporting delivery and learning, links with employers and industry. - About Chemistry website – engaging chemistry practical demonstrations and videos. - Health and safety information when handling chemicals and performing experiments. - Jim Clark’s Chemguide material supports chemistry at level 3 and level 4. It is exceptionally useful.


Chemistry World

New Scientist


The Science Faculty enjoys excellent facilities with 9 well equipped purpose built laboratories and a great team of subject specialists. The team is led by a Curriculum Leader. The faculty receives excellent support from an experienced team of professional technicians.