Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Course Level

Level 3


2 years full-time


September 2024


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Wednesday 17 April 2024

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Develop your practical skills within our brand-new laboratory suite

Opportunity to progress onto our higher education engineering and health degrees

Are you fascinated by biology, chemistry and physics and interested in pursuing science-related careers and higher education courses? Do you learn particularly well through experiments, research and coursework?

If you want to delve deeper into key aspects from across the sciences and develop the practical, problem-solving and data skills that are so in demand by employers, BTEC Level 3 Applied Science is for you.

You will revisit and advance your understanding of science topics such as cells and organ systems, chemical bonding and reactions, waves and materials. Within our brand-new laboratories, you will conduct numerous experiments, learning advanced analytical skills, as well as developing excellence in laboratory practice. You will explore and debate contemporary issues in science and will have the exciting opportunity to conduct your own research into a scientific area that you find especially interesting.

Our applied science course is studied over two years, leading to a highly-valued National Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A-levels). It is an exciting course that offers you the opportunity to continue to study all three sciences with emphasis on practical and coursework. On completion, you will be ready to pursue a career or degree in the applied science sector.

Why choose this college course?

  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Experience applied sciences first-hand by visiting our state-of-the-art Health Skills and Simulation Suite and robotics labs
  • INNOVATIVE LEARNING – Enjoy learning using the latest in education technology from VR-modelling of health scenarios to interactive body-sized digital anatomy tables
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to keep studying at a higher level? This college course will support your progression to relevant degrees at university
There are lots of reasons why we think you should study with us, but here are our top 5. View video.

Our facilities

Our applied science college students will learn in brand-new chemistry, biology and physics laboratories, plus you will get to experience applied sciences first-hand in our state-of-the-art Health Skills and Simulation Suite, used by our nursing and physiotherapy degree students, and our robotics labs, where our engineering students do their practical training. You will also have access to our award-winning university support services.

Course breakdown

You will study core topics which will include:

  • Biology: Cells, neurones and muscles and the cardiovascular, breathing and excretory systems
  • Chemistry: Atomic structure and bonding, periodic trends, properties and reactions of substances, energy changes
  • Physics: Waves and electromagnetic spectrum, materials, fluids and thermal physics
  • Practical techniques of titration, colorimetry, chromatography, and colorimetry
  • Investigations into enzymes, plants, diffusion, fuels and electrical circuits
  • Laboratory practice including health and safety, manufacturing techniques, data storage and informatics
  • Contemporary issues in science

You will also study six optional topics:

You will study six optional topics chosen from a wide range that includes forensics, genetics, disease, physiology, microbiology, organic and industrial chemistry, astronomy, medical physics and cryogenics.

Investigative project

You will also be able to explore an area of particular interest to you by completing your own investigative project.

Please note: Units/topics of study are subject to change

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.

Entry requirements

Our college tutors are looking for students who are committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to excel in the science industry, so please contact Admissions if you do not have the specific requirements outlined below.

If you are unsure if your qualification is equivalent or if you wish to check if you meet the entry requirements for this course, please call 0121 214 2919, email or use our live chat.

Academic requirements

  • 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade D) or above, including English (Language or Literature), Maths and Science.

English and maths

If you do not have a grade 4/C or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to study these subjects alongside your vocational subject. After enrolment you will complete an assessment with our teaching team so we can ensure you receive appropriate English and maths support.

Applicants over 19 are not required to complete maths and English.

Supporting documents required

  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham.
  • If you are a school leaver (over 19), you will be required to provide a reference from a previous education provider or employer in support of your application.

Guaranteed progression

Students who achieve 56 UCAS points or more from this qualification will automatically be guaranteed a place on a degree course at University College Birmingham. Some undergraduate courses require additional entry requirements, so applicants are advised to check entry requirements before applying.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Two of the four applied science units are assessed by a written exam, the other two units are assessed as coursework.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £30, depending on the items you purchase. (Prices are subject to change each year – exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you prior to enrolment.)

Applied science helps you really understand how we can use science to solve real-life problems, building a better future for us all. Students love the many experiments and having the chance to research and write reports on specialised science areas.

Rosa Wells College Principal

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Data scientist

Average Salary: £55,000

Forensic Scientist

Average Salary: £30,000

Climate scientist

Average Salary: £35,000

Research scientists

Average Salary: £39,000

Product/process development scientist

Average salary: £32,000 - £40,000

Sports scientist

Average Salary: £26,500

Aspiring to a higher level career? Complete this course and you could progress onto our Electromechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Adult Nursing or Physiotherapy degree programmes.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


Find out more

Ofsted 'Outstanding'

Ofsted rated the behaviours and attitudes of students at University College Birmingham as Outstanding, the top grade available, also commending investment in high-quality resources to support learning.

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