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You will develop skills required within a vocational scientific context, and be able to utilise these to solve problems. You will develop a broad range of scientific knowledge and skills ideal for many vocational and professional settings.


Assessment is examination, set tasks (external assessments) and coursework assessment based (internal assessments).

For the certificate: 66% external assessment, 33% internal coursework (2 mandatory units)

For the extended certificate: 50% external assessment, 50% internal (2 mandatory and 1 optional).

Entry Requirements

Two C grades or better in GCSE Sciences (Core, Additional or Biology, Chemistry or Physics) or Merit/Merit in Level 2 BTEC Applied Science. Grade 4 or above in both GCSE English Language and Maths are also required.


You will study the relevant theory and then complete project work or written examinations in several areas. These modules are core to all of the qualifications mentioned. The brackets represent the qualification they are associated with, and are requirements for the larger qualifications:

  • Principles and Applications of Science (cert)
  • Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques (cert)
  • As above plus Science Investigation Skills (ext cert)

There is one optional unit available in the second year, but most of the course is prescribed by the exam board

There will be more information available on the new spec when more information becomes available.


The course will enable you to prepare for a career in vocational sciences.

The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses if taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two-year programme of learning, including, but not exclusively, those

which are science-related. The qualification can be taken as part of a diverse programme, leaving progression options fully open. It can also give context to subjects which would benefit from some scientific background. This will depend on the combination of qualifications chosen. For example, taken alongside:

  • A Levels such as Mathematics, Physics and Design and Technology to progress to engineering related courses
  • A Level in Psychology and BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Sport to progress to sport psychology courses
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Health and Social Care to progress to nursing courses
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science to progress to sport and exercise science courses
  • A Levels in Geography and Computing to progress to geography or environmental science courses.

(*Learners should ALWAYS check the entry requirements for degree programmes with specific higher education providers.)

Course Information


AQA Level 3

Course Work