BTEC Applied Science
In the Sixth Form, pupils can study for a Level 3 BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Science.
This has approximately the same number of Guided Learning Hours as an A Level course, so can fit into a post-16 programme in much the same way as an A Level would, and is credited with the same maximum number of UCAS points for university entry. BTEC qualifications are designed to provide work-related qualifications in a range of vocational sectors, and give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment or to continue with further study. Units offered include the fundamentals of science, working in the science industry, scientific practical techniques, perceptions of science, and chemical laboratory techniques.
The continual assessment of work over the duration of the course tends to suit students who find examinations challenging.
Depending on demand, it may also be possible to study for a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science which is roughly equivalent to two A Levels.
BTEC has grown in popularity over the last few years, thanks to a broader acceptance of its suitability for entrance purposes by leading universities, and indeed most universities now accept BTEC qualifications as being on a par with A Levels. This course carries the equivalence of one GCE A Level and has the same UCAS tariff points attached to it.
Why are BTECs so successful?
They embody a fundamentally learner-centred approach to the curriculum, with a flexible, unit-based structure and knowledge applied in project-based assessments; they focus on the holistic development of the practical, interpersonal and thinking skills required to be able to succeed in employment and in Higher Education.
Employers are looking for recruits with a thorough grounding in the latest industry requirements and with workready skills such as teamwork. Higher Education needs students who have experience of research, extended writing and meeting deadlines, so BTEC have updated their course to address these requirements with:
- refreshed content that is closely aligned with the needs of employers and of Higher Education for a skilled future workforce.
- assessments and projects chosen to help learners progress to the next stage.
This means that some tasks are designed by the school to meet local needs, while others are set and marked by the Awarding Body so that there is a core of skills and understanding that is common to all learners; for example, a written test can be used to check that learners are confident in using technical knowledge to carry out a certain job.
For the Extended Certificate, pupils must sit four modules, three of which (Units 1, 2 & 3) are compulsory, along with one optional module that we have elected to deliver (Unit 8):
- Exploring Business;
- Developing a Marketing Campaign;
- Personal and Business Finance;
- Recruitment and Selection Process.
The course is more vocational in nature and will suit some pupils, whilst others may be better advised to follow an A Level programme. We will be pleased to discuss the choices with each individual so as to ensure that they choose the most appropriate course.
Further details at http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-nationals/business-2016.html#tab-1.