BTEC National Extended Certificate/Diploma in Applied Science

Exam Board: Edexcel


Extended Certificate (equivalent of 1 A level), Diploma (equivalent of 2 A levels)


Course Content: Year 1

All students will study one examined and one coursework unit. The examined content will cover animal and plant cells, tissues, atomic structure and bonding, chemical and physical properties of substances related to their uses, waves and their application in communications. Students will also produce a portfolio of work covering a range of chemical techniques including colorimetry, chromatography and titration.


For the Diploma, students will complete an additional examined unit covering physiology (organ systems), chemical production, thermal physics and materials as well as a portfolio of work covering the importance of health and safety in work place laboratories, data communication and the production and testing of organic substances.


Course Content: Year 2

All students will complete an externally examined unit where they will study how to conduct a scientific investigation including planning, carrying out, recording, interpreting, drawing conclusions and evaluating. These skills will be taught across the following topics: enzymes and diffusion, plants and the environment, fuels and energy and electrical circuits. They will also produce a portfolio of work focussed on three body systems: musculoskeletal, lymphatic and digestive looking at their structure and function as well as the implications of what happens when the systems fail to work properly and the available treatments.


Those studying for the Diploma will also complete an investigative project requiring a scientific literature search and review, a realistic plan which they will then carry out safely and evaluation as well as a portfolio of work investigating a number of technological advances that have resulted in the use of faster, less-invasive and more effective medical physics ionising and non-ionising radiation diagnosis and treatment technologies.


Assessment: Year 1

Certificate: 50% externally assessed examination (June of Y12), 50% internally assessed portfolio work

Note – although students following the Diploma are studying additional units in year 12 with a weighting of approximately 50% external exam (to be sat in the January of Y13) and 50% portfolio, these units could count towards a stand-alone qualification in year 1 under special circumstances assuming all mandatory units have been completed.


Assessment: Year 2

Extended Certificate: 66% Examination (June of Y13) and 33% portfolio work. Together with the Year 1 units, this makes up the full Extended Certificate qualification.


Diploma: 36% examination (June of Y13) and 64% portfolio. Together with the Year 1 units (one of which is examined in the January of Year 13), this makes up the full Diploma.


Career Opportunities:

This qualification will prepare learners to progress to a wide range of degree programmes or further employment. For example, when taken alongside a BTEC National Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care it will enable progression to nursing or midwifery courses. With an A Level in Psychology it could be used to progress onto some psychology courses or with Geography to progress to some Environmental Science courses. If taken alongside BTEC National Diploma in Sport, it could be used to progress to some sports-related degrees.


Entry Requirements:

Students should have grade 5/5 in Combined GCSE Sciences or 5’s for Separate Sciences and a grade 5 in English and Maths.