Our two BTEC First Awards in Applied Science are designed to reflect the broad spectrum of science learning.  

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This structure takes into account the unique nature of Applied Science, spanning three disciplines (physics, chemistry and biology), rather than just one.

To ensure sufficient breadth and depth of learning, instead of a single 120-GLH (guided learning hours) Award, BTEC Firsts in Applied Science now feature two 120-GLH Awards:

  • Principles of Applied Science Award (120 GLH)
  • Application of Science Award (120 GLH)

The Principles of Applied Science Award delivers the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study for schools in England by covering the key scientific principles vital for both scientists and citizens of the future. It develops and exemplifies these principles in applied and vocational contexts, leading to an understanding of how the principles are applied in practice.

The Application of Science Award is suitable for students who have covered the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study for schools in England. It develops students' understanding of key applications of science, and builds the skills required both for the scientific workplace and for further study.

This unique structure for Applied Science mirrors the structure for Edexcel GCSE Science. The benefits for teachers and learners include:

  • it ensures breadth of science learning
  • it provides a straightforward structure for teachers to timetable and deliver
  • it maximises progression opportunities for learners into employment or further learning both within and outside the field of science.

Headline measures for schools in England

Both the Principles of Applied Science Award and the Application of Science Award will count in the 2014 five A* to C headline measures as equivalent to one GCSE each for one student. They will not discount each other.

However, the five A* to C measure would then need to be completed for that student with academic qualifications, such as Edexcel GCSE. No further vocational qualifications could count for that student. 

FAQs about BTEC Firsts in Applied Science

To answer your queries about how the DfE announcement on first entry for GCSE and BTEC applies to BTEC Applied Science (NQF), we've put together some FAQs.

If you still feel that your question is unanswered, please contact the Science Subject Advisor (you’ll find contact details in the Teaching area of the BTEC Firsts from 2012 Applied Science homepage).