BTEC Applied Science



About BTEC Applied Science

A vocational alternative to A-level, this course is no less challenging.

Depending what size of Applied Science qualification you have chosen to do, you can gain the equivalent UCAS points to one (Extended Certificate), two (Foundation Diploma) or three full A-levels (Extended Diploma).

Our students frequently go on to study in HE institutions or take up Higher Level Apprenticeships, studying a wide variety of subjects from Biochemistry and Biomedical Science, to Animal Behaviour, to Forensic Science, to Politics and International Relations.

Universities and employers tell us that out BTEC L3 students are well practiced in research methods, report writing, working with autonomy and practical skills, well as having a thorough knowledge of science.

Introducing BTEC

Giving yourself the best start

When planning to study BTEC Applied Science, your knowledge from GCSE Science is your foundation to build on for Level 3 study. It is important that you spend time consolidating your understanding of GCSE Science topics before you begin.

BTEC applied science requires the same level of understanding as a-level; it is just assessed slightly differently.

You should invest time in completing a few past papers from the AQA website to remind yourself of your learning from school (http://www.aqa.org.uk/).

For students joining college after completing GCSE Science (Combined Science) Trilogy 8464 and for students joining college after completing separate Science GCSE Biology (8461), Chemistry (8462) and Physics (8463). Remember to complete both Biology and Chemistry past papers during your preparation to return to study.

Keep your past papers in a folder to use at the start of your course. I think 2 of each science papers: biology, chemistry and physics would be a good target.

Topics from GCSE science to revise for the start of the BTEC Applied Science course would include:

The structure of cells

What is an organelle? What different types of organelle are found in plant and animal cells and what are their functions?

Mechanisms of diffusion, osmosis and active transport are vital for understanding how substances move into and out of cells. Make sure you can define osmosis and predict how water will move down a concentration gradient if you are given data about concentration of solutions.

From GCSE Chemistry: an understanding of intermolecular forces/ weak forces between molecules is essential. For example water moves upwards from roots to leaves because of hydrogen bonds between water molecules. Look at the properties of water using the link below.


Structure of atoms and the charge on each component.

What does an atom comprise of? How do these components affect how the atom reacts with other substances?

The periodic table

How are elements arranged in the periodic table? What do you know about the patterns seem there: i.e. similarities in the properties of elements grouped together.

Need Physics idea from Vincent

Tasks for preparation

To support you in being able to “hit the ground running” in September, here are some tasks to complete that will help you…



Unit 1 Principles and Applications of Science I
This is an examined unit which will teach you aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. To get ahead you could:

·         Read about the organelles inside a cell that cannot be viewed using an optical microscope

Test yourself using an interactive quiz like this one: https://www.purposegames.com/game/this-animal-cell-needs-labelling-quiz

Or by drawing out plant and animal cells.

·         Practice balancing chemical equations

You will be taught how to perform molar calculations and calculate yield from a reaction (really essential in industry). Check your ability and practice higher levels such as by using this simulator: https://www.purposegames.com/game/this-animal-cell-needs-labelling-quiz

· Physics idea from Vincent

Unit 2 Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
Unit 2 teaches you practical skills and scientific report production. Assessment is by in class science investigations and coursework. To get ahead you could:

· Look at uses for chromatography

How is chromatography used by professionals? Research examples such as forensic labs and drug testing.

You will be conducting an assessed practical very similar to the one in this video and may find it very beneficial to watch this and read the download resources down the right-hand side. https://www.saps.org.uk/secondary/teaching-resources/1347-a-level-set-practials-tlc


Maths skills
20% of the score from A level exam papers comes from the direct use of Maths skills to complete calculations.


Biologists have to be able to process data they have collected or be able to understand data displayed by other scientists.


Make sure that you can:

·Calculate percentage change

·Use ratios

· Use standard form

· Convert between units of length and mass

·Calculate volumes of shapes such as a sphere

·Use the equation of a straight line to determine the intercept of the x or y axis

· Draw a tangent to determine the gradient of a straight line

Literacy skills
Your coursework will need referencing to show what sources you used. This is good practice for future higher education or in report production in your career. To get ahead you could:

· Learn how to Harvard reference. There is a useful guide here with links at the end to additional resources:


·Review scientific terminology from your GCSE work. Check that you are familiar with the major concepts and technical terms. You could consider producing a glossary to refer back to, or perhaps you already have flashcards or similar.


LA14 2PJ
Rating Lane
LA13 9LE
Contact Us Tel: 01229 825 017 (Channelside Campus)
Tel: 01229 828 377 (Barrow Sixth Form College)
Email: info@furness.ac.uk
Business Support Tel: 01229 844 836
Email: businesssupport@furness.ac.uk