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Science

Subject update | 1 May 2023

May 2023 BTEC Science subject update

Welcome to the May update for BTEC Science teachers. In this update includes information on Post-16 Level 3 BTEC reform networks that will be hosted this month. 

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In the May update:

  • Post-16 Level 3 BTEC reform networks
  • AI Use in Assessments: Protecting the Integrity of Qualifications
  • BTEC Nationals in Applied Science and Forensic and Criminal Investigation Unit 3 (31619H) assessment
  • Standards verification deadline
  • Ofqual Student Guide 2023
  • May/June 2023 timetables
  • BTEC teaching, learning and assessment page for 2022-23
  • BTEC Vocational Qualification Bulletins

Post-16 Level 3 BTEC reform networks

We are keeping centres informed with the latest news on L3 reforms in England via our dedicated web page which is provided below.

Latest news on the future of post-16 level 3 vocational qualifications in England

We will also be hosting the following network events in May to provide you with the latest information on developments around the reforms at Level 3. They will also provide an opportunity to get your views and insight to help us shape our qualification(s) and support offer in ways that best meet you and your learners’ needs. The sessions will be managed by the sector team leading on the redevelopment of our qualifications at Level 3 and will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions. These events and the qualifications covered are for UK centres only.

BTEC National in Sustainability briefing session: latest developments around the reforms at Level 3 (9 May 2023 4-5pm)

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BTEC National in Applied Human Biology briefing session: latest developments around the reforms at Level 3 (16 May 2023 4-5pm)

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BTEC National in Applied Science briefing session: latest developments around the reforms at Level 3 (18 May 2023 4-5pm)

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BTEC National in Applied Science briefing session: latest developments around the reforms at Level 3 (22 May 2023 4-5pm)

Register for this event

All events are listed on the training page that you can refer to for new events or updates.

Visit the training page

AI Use in Assessments: Protecting the Integrity of Qualifications


On 28 March 2023, the Joint Council for qualifications published guidance about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in assessments. The JCQ AI Use in Assessments: Protecting the Integrity of Qualifications guidance is intended to provide teachers and assessors involved in delivering JCQ qualifications with the important information they need to manage the use of AI in assessments. This guidance applies to all our qualifications including BTEC qualifications. Please do take a look at this guidance.

BTEC Nationals in Applied Science and Forensic and Criminal Investigation Unit 3 (31619H) assessment

The Unit 3 (31619H) assessment changes described in the guidance below will stay in place for Summer 2023 and future years. Learners no longer have a practical task to complete for Part A - instead they are given a 45 minute reading period to understand and review a scientific method and experimental data that was generated from the method. Learners will then complete Part B straight after which will remain unchanged in structure and format.

Standards verification deadline

Please ensure you are working with your BTEC teams so samples are with the Standards Verifier before 15 May. It is important that this deadline is met to ensure the timely certification of your learners in August. If standards verification is delayed, we will not be able to guarantee results will be received by results day.

Once the Standards Verifier has agreed national standards have been met and released the cohort, your centre can submit your internally assessed units on Edexcel Online as interim claims. You do not need to wait until 5 July deadline.

Centre guide to standards verification  

Ofqual Student Guide 2023

This guide provides students with information about this year’s arrangements for qualifications regulated by Ofqual (which includes BTEC qualifications).

May/June 2023 timetables

Summer 2023 timetables are available to view on our website. The timetables seek to maintain some of the space between the first and last exams in the same subject. This spacing was well received by schools and colleges in 2022 and reduces the chance of students missing all exams in a subject due to circumstances such as illness.

BTEC teaching, learning and assessment page  2022-23

The teaching, learning and assessment page for 2022-23 will keep you up to date with the latest news and information to support you delivering BTEC qualifications. 

Visit the teaching, learning and assessment page

BTEC Vocational Qualification Bulletins

We send out regular Vocational Qualification Bulletins to keep centres informed of our support and services. You can sign-up for these and also read previous bulletins on our website.

Sign up to receive regular vocational qualification bulletins 

Read previous vocational qualification bulletins on our website

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