Course Information

Where is the course delivered?

  • Bridgwater campus

Who is the course for?

The Applied Sciences courses provide a specialist work related programme of study that covers the key knowledge and practical skills required by students interested in pursuing a career within these fascinating topic areas. It will also suit students who excel in coursework; 11 units are assessed by coursework, two units by exam and two units by close book externally set tasks.  People who enjoy studying all three science subjects and carrying out practical laboratory work will excel in this course. 

What does the course involve?

The Level 3 Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A Levels. The course comprises 13 varied and interesting units of study, which are an intriguing mix of all three sciences and their applications in the surroundings, all of which focus upon the very diverse work carried out by scientists and enable students to gain both a theoretical and a practical feel for this fascinating and progressive field of study.

Forensic Science is simply the application of science to the law. In criminal cases, forensic scientists are often involved in the search for and examination of physical traces, which might be useful in establishing or excluding an association between someone suspected of committing a crime, and the scene of a crime or victim. Such traces commonly include blood and other body fluids, hairs, textile fibres from clothing, paint or glass from road traffic accidents, or flammable substances which may have been used to start fires.

Biomedical science is the term for the investigations carried out by biomedical scientists on samples of tissue and body fluids to diagnose disease and monitor the treatment of patients. From cancer screening to diagnosing HIV, from blood transfusion for surgery to food poisoning and infection control, biomedical scientists are the foundation of modern healthcare. Biomedical scientists work in partnership with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to perform many different roles in NHS laboratories. Without biomedical scientists the diagnosis of disease, the evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment, and research into the causes and cures of disease would not be possible.

Whether you are interested in Forensic Science or Biomedical Science you must have a real interest in analytical science work because in the case of the former your analysis will produce results to be presented in court and the latter because patients' lives may depend on their skills. To be a great scientist you will need to have careful analytical skills and this course will definitely build these up to a good standard when you apply yourself to your studies.

The course has seven mandatory core units:

  1. Principles and Applications of Science I
  2. Practical Scientific Techniques
  3. Science Investigation Skills
  4. Laboratory Techniques and their Application in Industry
  5. Principles and Applications of Science II
  6. Vocational Investigative Project
  7. Contemporary Issues in Science

Together with six optional units* listed below:

Analytical and Forensic Science pathway optional units

Physiology of Human Body Systems

Genetics and Genetic Engineering

Industrial Applications of Organic Chemistry

Industrial Applications of Inorganic Chemistry

Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques

Forensic Evidence Collection and Analysis

* These may be subject to change to match the teaching team's specialisms.

What makes this course special?

Here at Bridgwater & Taunton College we ensure that the analytical techniques that we use are based very much on up to date procedures and equipment.  You may well have the opportunity to carry out DNA fingerprinting, use state of the art comparison microscopes, carry out significant biological and chemical tests and take part in a “Bones workshop” where you will working to identify real human remains.

Entry Requirements

At least five GCSEs at grade A* to C or 9 to 5, including minimum two GCSE in science subjects (one B or 6 grade is preferred), Maths and English are essential.

What are the assessment methods?

The new BTEC Nationals in Applied Science uses a combination of assessment styles to give our students confidence that they will be able to apply their knowledge in the workplace.  Assessments will include internally set assignments (units 2, 4, 6 and the optional units), externally set controlled tasks (units 3 and 7) and written exams (units 1 and 5).  Assignments will include case studies, written reports, projects, performance observation and practical work.  Controlled tasks will be investigative and in the form of project work.  There are 2 exams consisting of 1.5 and 2 hours.

How long is the course?

This is a two year course.

What are the progression options?

The majority of students will progress to university to study a whole variety of broad based scientific degree courses or into science based employment. There are various Forensic courses namely Forensic science, Forensic Archaeology, Forensic Computing, Forensic Law and Forensic Psychology.  The knowledge and skills you learn will also enable you to enter many scientific laboratory posts.  The Extended Diploma is a full time course on its own so you can focus all of your time and effort into achieving the highest grade you can in this course.  Many universities do accept the Extended Diploma in its own right.

Further Information