Applied Science – BTEC Level 3

Why study BTEC Applied Science?

Applied Science is aimed at students who prefer assessment through coursework rather than exams. It is a good alternative to traditional science A Levels for those students who wish to study only one science level 3 qualification. As a substantial vocational qualification it provides a broad understanding of applied science to support progress to higher education. This qualification can also prepare learners to take up employment in the applied science sector, either directly after achieving the qualification or via higher education.

Students develop the transferable and higher-order skills that are highly regarded by both HE and employers. For example, when studying the science investigative unit students will further develop their capability to plan investigations, collect, analyse, and present data and communicate results. Employability skills are developed by learners throughout the course, including:

  • cognitive and problem-solving skills: e.g. critical thinking
  • intrapersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation
  • interpersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development

What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?

The BTEC Applied Science course is especially suitable for students considering careers in areas such as nursing, midwifery, paramedic work, forensic and sports science (You should check the university websites for entry requirement for specific degrees as they can vary from course to course).

You should be aware that applied science does not count towards the National Curriculum subject requirement for teaching courses. If you want to be a teacher, you should do another National Curriculum subject as well as applied science, such as English or PE.

BTEC Level 3 qualifications can be taken alongside a combination of A level and BTEC courses:

A level Geography, A level PE or BTEC extended certificate Sport

A level Geography and A level Computing

Key Information Summary:

Course TitleBTEC Applied Science Level 3
Examination BoardPearson
Linear Qualification?No
Course Webpage
Entry RequirementsYou should have at least 2 x Grade 4 in the GCSE dual award (trilogy) and a Grade 4 in GCSE English language and mathematics.
Contact Teachers

Dr. J Neild:


Learners opting for BTEC applied science will need to be very well organised, hard-working, good at meeting deadlines and be prepared to think and work independently. In addition, an ability to reflect on both personal and technical skills is also desirable.

Course Details:

BTEC Applied Science at Wilmslow High School is a Level 3 qualification and is offered as an Extended Certificate (equivalent to 1 A level).
The course covers aspects of biology, chemistry and physics and will be taught in an applied or real world context wherever possible.

Grading is D*,D,M, P which are equivalent to the A level grades A*, A, C and E. UCAS points are awarded for this qualification and match the equivalent A level grades. (D=distinction, M=merit, P=pass)


Subject Content:

Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I (biology, chemistry and physics)

Topics include periodicity and properties of elements, structure and function of cells and tissues, waves and communication.

Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques.

Scientific procedures and techniques are studied through a series of practical activities, including titrations, colorimetry, chromatography and calorimetry.
This unit is internally assessed

Unit 3 Science Investigation skills

Science investigation skills are developed through 4 areas of study: plant populations, enzymes, electrical circuits and energy content of fuels.

This unit is externally assessed

Unit 14 Applications of Organic Chemistry

Learners will cover the skills required to prepare and test a range of organic compounds and develop an understanding of their properties and uses in everyday life.

This unit is internally assessed


Assessment details:

Extended Certificate – 2 Year Course

Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I (biology, chemistry and physics)

Written examination set and marked by Pearson.

• 1.5 hours.

• 90 marks.

Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

4 internally assessed tasks

50% internally assessed

50% externally assessed

1 resit allowed for externally assessed units

Unit 3 Science Investigation skills

A task set and marked by Pearson and completed under supervised conditions.

• The supervised assessment is arranged over two sessions in a three-week period timetabled by Pearson.

• The supervised assessment sessions are 3 hours for Part A and 1.5 hours for Part B.

• Practical investigation and written submission.

• 60 marks.

Unit 14 Applications of Organic Chemistry

4 internally set task covering a range of learning aims

42% internally assessed

58% externally assessed

1 resit allowed for externally assessed units