Applied Science covers many topics that are science based including laboratory work, forensics, medicine, environmental and the fundamental biological, chemical and physical sciences. The aim is to provide a route to employment in the science industry or within organisations that use science.
You will develop the practical techniques necessary to pursue a career as a laboratory technician, investigating the quantities necessary in chemical reactions, the structure and functions of cells and the calorific value of different fuels. You will learn about key microbiological concepts including pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostics, food production, environmental health and forensic science. You will look into the characteristic features of cells and will practise aseptic techniques to culture and determine the factors that influence the growth of micro-organisms. The practical investigation unit is designed to allow you to develop and demonstrate your science knowledge, practical and project management skills.
You will acquire and develop a range of highly sought-after skills, that when applied, could assist in finding new medicines to combat cancer, designing new materials to replace worn-out knee joints or helping to detect and convict criminals. You will develop an understanding of the important fundamental physics concepts behind medical physics techniques such as x-rays, ultrasound, diagnostic imaging and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radiotherapy and the importance of radiation safety. You will be able to familiarise yourself with some of the basic chemical concepts, on which aspects of biology are based, concepts such as chemical equilibrium, bonding, rates of reaction and organic molecules.
The forensic units include forensic photography. This will develop your knowledge of theoretical principles of using equipment to make a photographic portfolio and how this would be used for forensic purposes in the Criminal Justice System. You will also learn about the stages and disciplines involved in reconstructing and documenting events to determine the causes of fire. You will explore how forensic psychologists assist the court by determining whether a defendant was mentally fit to understand the court process or was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the crime. In order for a criminal prosecution to be successful, the Crown must provide secure and reliable evidence. It is, therefore important to learn about the methods, tools and legislation involved in criminal investigations.
During the course visits are arranged to various places such as laboratories and museums or you may undertake crime scene field outings. For some trips you may be required to make a contribution to the cost of the entrance fee and travel.
You are expected to work independently on project work away from the college.
5 GCSEs at A*-C or acceptable alternatives, which must include English Language, Maths and Double Science.
The next step could be to employment or Higher Education courses in this field. Career opportunities include quality control technician/analyst, medical physics technician, working in a research laboratory in the development of new drugs, working with the forensic science service or using analytical skills in the chemistry industry, working for a scientific magazine or journal, editing and proofreading articles on issues such as applications and implications of new scientific discoveries and developments.
Will this course suit me?
If you want to study or work in science, get practical experience and knowledge of working in a laboratory and out in the field then this course is perfect for you!
A text book is recommended - BTEC Level 3 National Applied Science Student Book by F Ennets. You will also need to buy a memory stick.