Course Title BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma/National Extended Diploma in Applied Science
Level: 3
Code Y113

Overview of the Course

The Level 3 qualification in Applied Science is a work-related qualification that focuses on the development of practical skills and underpinning knowledge in the science industry. The course will appeal to those who enjoy studying science through practical work by completing projects and assignments based on realistic workplace situations. Successful completion of the course will provide a progression pathway onto higher education, as well as advanced apprenticeships. The National Foundation Diploma is designed as a one year, full time course of study for those who wish to learn about the practical elements of science. Upon successful completion of the National Foundation Diploma, you could then top up your qualification to a National Extended Diploma.

What are the career opportunities?

Science and pharmaceuticals are key industries within the UK. There will always be a demand for graduates to work in a number of areas within the industry. There is a need for technologists and designers to respond to worldwide demand for more versatile, lightweight, energy saving products and applications. New treatments and medicines are being sought after in a race to treat sickness and disease. Many Science and Pharmaceutical companies have global headquarters or R&D sites within the UK, such as AkzoNobel, AstraZeneca, BASF, Bayer, Novartis, Sanofi, etc. These companies are always in need of fresh ideas from newly qualified graduates. The sector is a demanding and fast paced working environment, where the average starting salary can be between £18,000 and £25,000, with wages progressing beyond £100,000. Graduates have opportunities to complete research or undertake industrial research and development roles. There are employment opportunities in a wide variety of areas, with previous Bury College students going on to study in areas such as Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Marine Biology, Life Sciences, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology, Optometry, Microbiology, Audiology, Engineering (Petroleum and Civil), Lab based sciences and Research and Development.

What are the entry requirements?

You must have achieved five or more GCSEs including Core and Additional Science or two separate sciences at A*-C (9-4) and GCSEs maths and English at grade 9-4 (A*-C).

How long is the course and when can I start?

The National Foundation Diploma is a full-time one year course starting in September. Upon successful completion of your first year of study, whereby you will complete six units (equivalent to 1.5 A Levels), you are able to progress onto a second year of study to top up your qualification and complete a National Extended Diploma in Applied Science, completing a further seven units, so 13 in total (equivalent to three A Levels).

How is the course structured and how will I be assessed?

The course consists of a range of mandatory, specialist and optional units studied over two years. You will be assessed by both coursework assignments set and marked internally by your tutors, as well as assessments marked externally by the exam board. Each individual unit is graded Pass (P), Merit (M) or Distinction (D) and your overall qualification will have two grades in your first year, from PP to D*D* from six units, or three grades in your second year, from PPP to D*D*D* from 13 units.

What employability skills will I develop on this course?

In order to be successful in a science related career, you must be skilled in multiple areas. You must have interpersonal skills and be able to communicate effectively and enjoy working as part of a team, with the ability to negotiate and influence fellow learners. Depending upon the vocation you choose to pursue, you must be able to work in a range of environments, e.g. laboratory, theatre or the great outdoors. Your cognitive and problem solving skills must be effective, ensuring you have the ability to think critically, approach non routine problems, applying expert and creative solutions. Interpersonal skills will also be improved, including your ability to self-manage, adapt to differing schedules, so that you can work to strict instructions and methods. You need to have experience using various computing tools to display and present data. English and communication skills are particularly important. You need to be able to listen carefully to follow instructions in a lab environment, so that methods and procedures are carried out correctly. You may need to present findings and results to large groups of people, so effective and open communication is vital. Often, experiments carried out must be written up as a lab report, in a clear manner, so that they are easily followed by other scientists. Carrying out calculations and problem solving is a key feature of working in the science industry. You will need to be able to accurately calculate dilutions, volumes, concentrations, rates and percentages. In the statistics units, you need to be able to work out t-test values, standard deviations, correlation coefficients and compare frequencies.

Work experience

Work experience is an essential element of your Study Programme and you will be supported to secure a work experience placement during your time at Bury College. This will allow you to gain first hand exposure to the sector you wish to work in, start to develop key employability skills and most importantly confirm your career goals. Applied Science students have recently had successful work experience placements in the following areas: Radiography, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Optometry, Animal care, Civil Engineering, Education and nursery care.

Study programme enrichment opportunities

Your Study Programme will support personal development to ensure you make good progress and acquire the skills required for successful progression into employment, apprenticeships or higher education. Enrichment has included ‘HeartStart’ and ‘FastBleep’ training, in which current junior doctors trained students in first aid and medical techniques, as well as offer guidance on applying to medical courses at university. There are various guest lectures throughout the year, where guest speakers come into the college to discuss progression and career options. There may also be course related study visits and careers events to advise students on progression.

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

Additional costs may incur for coursework study visits.


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