May 2013 BTEC update

Wed May 29 15:59:00 UTC 2013

Many centres deliver both GCSE Core Science and the BTEC in Applied Science - so this update provides information on summer 2013 completion and certification.

Completing the BTEC First: Principles of Applied Science (NQF) Award

If you are currently teaching Principles of Applied Science and you wish your students to sit the Unit 1 exam on 18 June, they will need to have been entered for the exam earlier this year.

If you wish your students to sit the exam, you can make a late entry. Please contact for further information on how to do this and the associated costs.

To certificate this summer:

all three completed internal units (2, 3, 4) will need to have been sampled by your Standards Verifier
your students will have sat the Unit 1 exam.
However, you may certificate in 2013/2014. Your students can resit the Unit 1 exam in November 2013, or in March or June 2014 and you can complete the sampling of units in 2013/2014. The cost of a resit is £13.50.

What students need to meet ‘prior learning'.
As long as students have been taught the KS4 Programme of Study (either GCSE Core Science or BTEC First: Principles of Applied Science), they can progress to BTEC First: Application of Science in September 2013. They do not need to have been awarded/certificated GCSE Core Science / BTEC First: Principles of Applied Science.

Both of the BTEC First Awards (NQF) will count in headline measures from 2014 (only Principles will count this year).

BTEC First: Extended Certificate (NQF)
The BTEC First: Extended Certificate (NQF) has been accredited and is available to teach. Until the extent of demand becomes clearer, the plans for a new BTEC First: Diploma have been put on hold.

Thinking of teaching BTEC Applied Science for the first time?
If you are new to BTEC, then there is information on our website to guide you through the process of becoming an approved BTEC centre (you need to be a BTEC approved centre to offer BTEC).

If your school/college already offers BTEC in other subjects, you should first contact your school’s internal BTEC Quality Nominee who will be able to advise you.

Still teaching the legacy 2010 QCF BTEC Firsts in Applied Science?
For centres in England only: the QCF Certificate will count in headline measures this year, but not from 2014. The QCF Extended Certificate and Diploma will count this year and next (but only as one GCSE next year). From 2015, they will no longer count in headline measures. Select Applied Science to see the new NQF and legacy QCF BTEC Firsts and whether they count in headline measures.

Stephen Nugus
Science Subject Advisor

What do you think?