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BTEC First Award Applied Science

Course overview

Application of Science is a broad subject which includes topics from biology, chemistry and physics. It is focused mainly on investigations and understanding how principles from these sciences can be applied to the modern world.

How many hours per week?

Teaching contact time is 4 hours and 20 minutes per subject. Other workshops will be available throughout the year including over some holiday periods. Students are expected to spend a minimum 4 hours of independent study to complete assignments, homework, extra reading and independent research.

Entry Requirements?

The Level Three Foundation Programme has a consistent set on entry requirements for each course. Students are required to have already achieved a minimum of 4,4,3 at level 2 (GCSE or equivalent).

Exam board

Why study this course?

If you have an interest in the sciences and would like to pursue a career in a scientific field or study them at Level 3 you will find this course both informative and engaging. If you are interested in the more practical side of science and enjoy researching topics independently this course will suit you and while it builds on ideas from GCSE there are very few parts which are repeated. For this reason you will find it gives you more opportunities to explore how scientific principles are used and why they are important. This course is very varied in terms of both content and style of lessons which keeps things interesting and you will rarely be focused on one area for too long before moving onto something new.

What will I learn?

The four units of study are Scientific Skills, which outlines good practical laboratory and investigatory skills, Application of Chemical Substances, which focuses on how we use chemicals in society, Application of Physical Science, which looks at how to apply the laws of physics to real situations and Health Applications of Life
Science, which focuses on how understanding biology can lead to health benefits. Together, these four units introduce the practical ways in which people make use of substances and use science to help individuals and society across the globe.

What skills will I develop?

• Practical investigation skills – following methods, recording results, using scientific equipment.
• Communication skills – verbal, written and electronic methods of communication.
• Research skills – using sources to add detail and example to assignment tasks.
• Analysis – analysing data, investigations and scientific articles.
• Evaluation – thinking critically about how investigations have been designed.
• Risk assessment – understanding the safety measures involved in working scientifically.
• Time management and organisation – meeting deadlines is critical to this course.
• Responding to feedback – making improvements to your assignments.

How will I be taught?

Teaching in Application of Science is highly varied with some lessons having sections of delivery and explanation from the teacher, some being almost entirely focused on practical investigation, some will have opportunities for discussion and debate and others will include time for guided research using ICT. There will also be some lessons where students will be expected to work on their individual assignment tasks.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment in through a combination of coursework tasks and an exam. The coursework tasks take place throughout the year and will follow on from the teaching of each learning aim. They are focussed on applying key ideas about chemistry, physics and biology to practical uses in the modern world. The exam unit is based on investigations and experiments and usually takes place in early February with an opportunity to resit in June. 75% of the final grade is based on coursework and 25% is based on the exam.

Where will this course take me?

This course is ideal if you are interested in pursuing a career or further qualifications in the scientific field. The skills and knowledge from this course will be of particular importance if you plan to study Applied Science or Medical Science at Level 3 and will also be beneficial for students who choose Psychology or Health and Social Care. Please note that due to the method of assessment this course is NOT INTENDED as a pathway into studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

From the knowledge and skills developed in this qualification you may expect to seek employment at a junior level working with either biological science technicians and scientists working in biology, health care, and other biology-related industries; or in companies using science based understanding to develop transportation or electrical applications; or working in companies that use composite materials to make articles like cars, aeroplanes, mobile phones, and building materials.

Staff contact details
Joe Cox: Teacher of Biology & Applied Science

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