Applied Science

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science is intended as an Applied General qualification for post-16 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning and who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the applied science sector. The qualification is equivalent in size to one A Level.

Learners will study three mandatory units:

  • Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
  • Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
  • Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills

Learners follow one optional unit which is:

  • Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems

The requirements of the qualification will mean that learners develop the transferable and higher order skills which are valued by higher education providers and employers. For example, when studying Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills, learners will develop skills including how to plan investigations, collecting, analysing, and presenting data and communicating results which support some of the skills learners need to progress to higher education, employment, self-employment or training.


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.

In the BTEC National units there are opportunities during learning to give students practice in developing employability skills.

Employability skills include:

  • cognitive and problem-solving skills
  • the use of critical thinking, and approaches to non-routine problems
  • applying expert and creative solutions, using systems and technology
  • intrapersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation
  • interpersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development

The assessment for this qualification comprises examination and coursework, marked at 3 levels: pass, merit and distinction.  Each unit will have a points total allocated to it that are added together to give an overall grade for the course.

To be successful at this level you must have two C Grades in GCSE Sciences or better, as well as a C grade at GCSE Maths.