Science | Pearson qualifications


Subject update | 1 December 2023

December 2023 BTEC Teaching Science update

This update provides details of webinars that will be hosted in December on our new Pearson BTEC Nationals submitted for first teaching September 2025 as part of the Post-16 reforms. Other useful information for this time of year is also provided.

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Event: The potential impact of Level 3 reforms on BTEC

05 December 2023 at 2.30-3.30pm | Online | Free | Pearson Event Code 23UKL3R-05

A briefing has been organised for Principals, Vice Principals and Quality Nominees to discuss the current reforms for Level 3. This webinar will:

  •  Explain the latest timelines for the reforms, including defunding
  • Clarify what we know so far about how the reforms will affect BTEC qualifications in the future. • Curriculum planning in the new landscape
  • This session will reflect the latest DfE guidance (November 2023)


Event - Introducing your new Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science first teach September 2025

11 December 2023 at 4 - 5.15 pm | Online | Free | Pearson Event Code 23INAPP02


We are hosting an event introducing your new Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science (AAQ) first teach September 2025. At this event there will be an opportunity to get a first look at the new specification, assessments and support. These qualification is for first teaching in September 2025. DfE funding and approval will be confirmed in July 2024.

Event - Introducing your new Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Medical Science first teach September 2025

12 December 2023 at 4 - 5:15 pm | Online | Free | Pearson Event Code 23INMED02


We are hosting an event introducing your new Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Medical Science (AAQ) for first teaching September 2025. At this event will be an opportunity to get a first look at the new specification, assessments and support. DfE funding and approval will be confirmed in July 2024.

BTEC Level 3 reform in England news page

We are keeping centres informed with the latest news on L3 reforms in England via our dedicated web page - see the link below where you can find out more.

BTEC results data for 2022/23

We have published 2022/23 national results data for Level 2 and Level 3 BTEC qualifications, showing registration and results data for Level 2 BTEC Firsts and Level 3 BTEC Nationals. You can view the data, including our commentary on this year's results data on our website.

View the 2022/23 BTEC results data

We have also published grade statistics for BTEC qualifications on the grade statistics page of the website. These statistics can be used for benchmarking purposes. Please note that in line with all qualifications, learner achievement is reported at qualification level and not at unit level.

Go to the grade statistics page

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 future exam series including January 2024 and Summer 2024. 

You may also wish to view the recent assessments for Unit 3 on the qualification page to help you understand the present assessment structure.

Amendment to Unit 13: Forensic Genetics

In July we sent an update to all centres about an amendment to Unit 13: Forensic Genetics that appears in BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Forensic Investigation and Forensic and Criminal Investigation Qualifications. In case you have not seen the update, a link to it is provided below.

Read the update

BTEC 2023-24 Centre Guides

We have updated and released the BTEC Centre Guides for 2023-24 which can now be located on the Quality Assurance web page.

Under the BTEC Level 2 & Level 3 section you will find centre guides for Internal Assessment, Internal Verification, Lead Internal Verifier, Quality Assurance, for Assignment Writing, for Managing Plagiarism (including AI).

The BTEC Annual Year Planner is also available on this page.


Timetables for January 2024 can be viewed on our website.

Ofqual Letter to schools and colleges

At the end of September, Ofqual wrote to all schools and colleges to outline the arrangements for grading and delivering results for vocational and technical qualifications in 2024. You can read the letter from the link below:

Read the ofqual letter to schools and colleges

Ofqual guides for schools and colleges and for students for 2024

On 20 November, Ofqual published its updated guidance for schools, colleges and other exam or assessment centres on qualifications arrangements for 2024.  On the same day they also published their updated student guide for 2024. The guides cover both GCSEs, AS, A levels, other general qualifications, and vocational and technical qualifications.  

Download the updated Ofqual guide for schools and colleges 2024 

Download the updated Ofqual Student Guide 2024 

Update JCQ Guidance on use of calculators in exams

On 15 September 2023 the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) updated its ‘Instructions for the Conduct of Qualifications’ document for the 2023/24 academic year to provide more clarity to candidates, exam officers and teachers given recent changes in technology.

In particular, the use of calculators in exams has been updated in Section 10 ‘Using calculators’.  Full details can be found in the in the booklet Instructions for conducting examinations 2023-2024 and a set of FAQs about using calculators on the JCQ website.

Go to the JCQ page

JCQ guidance on cyber security 

JCQ have produced new guidance for centres on cyber security in order to safeguard sensitive information, including personal student data, and to protect the integrity of secure assessments. In today's digital landscape, it is crucial to adhere to industry best practices to mitigate the risk of cyber threats. Please read the information provided by JCQ that includes key guidelines that align with industry standards and will help protect your digital assets.   

New JCQ guidance on cyber security

Edexcel Online and Multi-factor Authentication

In June we introduced Multi-factor Authentication as additional layer of security to Cyber security is increasingly in the news and deliberate attacks on centres are sadly becoming more common. That’s why Pearson is committed to working with all centres to ensure our digital interactions are as secure and risk-free as possible.   

In December of this year we’re rolling out a major enhancement to our current Edexcel Online Multi- Factor Authentication process.  We will be moving away from the current email One Time Passcode (OTP) and will be asking Edexcel Online users to authenticate via an app on their smartphone or other compatible device. Each account user will use their own device (capable of operating authenticator apps such as Microsoft/ Google authenticator).   

We are taking the opportunity to remind colleagues that using a personal device will not result in Pearson collecting and/ or using any personal data, including a mobile phone number. If you need support with accessing a device, please talk to your centre leadership about how they can best support you. 

Become a Pearson Examiner

We're looking for knowledgeable and passionate individuals to become Pearson examiners for the 2024 exam series across a wide range of subjects. Becoming an examiner is a great way to deepen your subject expertise, spread your assessment knowledge within your department and acquire valuable insights into the assessment process, empowering you to better prepare your learners for their exams.  You can enjoy the convenience of working remotely, fitting it around your other commitments, and augmenting your income. It can also help you build your professional networks and benefit from opportunities for progression and continuous professional development.

View the current opportunities

Vocational Qualification Bulletins

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

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