Science | Pearson qualifications


Subject update | 16 January 2024

January 2024 BTEC Teaching Science update

Welcome to the January Teaching Science update for teachers delivering BTEC Pearson Edexcel Science qualifications. In this update you can find news and information to support you with delivery of our Science qualifcations. Items included in this update are listed below.

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BTEC Nationals Applied Science Unit 19 resources

Further guidance and resources have been produced to support the delivery of the optional Unit 19 Practical Chemical Analysis.

These can be found on the qualification webpage for download.

BTEC Level 3 AAQ Applied Science and Medical Science specifications

New BTEC Level 3 qualifications in Applied Science and Medical Science have been submitted for approval in England as new 'academic' AAQs. You can find out more about our new AAQs and also download our draft specifications we have submitted for approval from our website

You can also keep up-to-date with the L3 reforms from our web page below.



24 January 2024 at 07:00 - 13:00 GMT | Online | Event Fee (GBP) £25 excl. Tax | Pearson Event Code 23IOBL3AS2/01

Wanting to understand the holistic methodology around assessment planning and assignment writing for BTEC International Qualifications? This session is designed for Programme Managers, course leaders, Internal verifiers, Quality Nominees and the Delivery and assessment staff. This session will look to understand the Holistic Assignment writing and Assessment process for delivering the BTEC International Level 3 in Applied Science. During this session you will:

• Explore and understand the Pearson Authorised Assignment Briefs (AABs) and Pearson Set Assignments (PSAs)

• Discuss Assessment process, methods and the varied forms of evidence• Understand how to provide effective feedback to the learners

• Examine command verbs in the context of your vocational area, the qualification units and the assessment criteria

• Discuss ways to develop links with employers and external stakeholders

• Understand how to use the platform Pearson Progress and how ties into the assignment process.

Please note:

As this session may be repeated, and to ensure recorded content is not accessed by undisclosed third parties, it is Pearson’s policy not to share recordings for paid training events.


27 February 2024 at 09:00 - 10:00 GMT | Event Fee (GBP) Free | Pearson Event Code 24OBHNGB9/01

Are you a UK or International Centre interested in the progression options for your students post level 3? This interactive online session will explore the journey from level 3 to the Higher Nationals. Aimed at tutors and progression advisors, the focus of this session is to illustrate the support available for tutors and students, discuss the benefits of an occupationally focused HE experience and, most importantly, we want to hear from you; how has the experience been for you and your students? What barriers exist to progression? What further support and resources do you need? 

This 1-hour session will cover:   

Potential progression routes for students 

Types of learning experience a student could have Higher Nationals support available including the HN Global digital platform, training and tutor resources 

Open discussion – centres will be encouraged to share good practice, discuss support needed and identify any barriers to progression.

NEW - Special consideration tool

We have a new online tool to submit and track special consideration requests for BTEC Firsts and Nationals which replaces the JCQ Form 10 applications for these qualifications. The new tool allows you to track the receipt and processing of your special consideration applications for BTEC Firsts and Nationals.

You can log in to the Special Considerations Service from the BTEC home page on Edexcel Online.

How will I access the new Special Consideration Service?

You’ll need an Edexcel Online account that has the basic access and special consideration boxes ticked. If you don’t have access to this, you can contact us and we will add this on for you.

What new features can I expect?

You’ll now be able to track the receipt and processing of your special consideration applications for BTEC Firsts and Nationals. This is our first phase in improving and streamlining how you submit special consideration requests. You will submit all special consideration requests for general and vocational qualifications through the Special Consideration Service in summer 2024.


You can find out more in our latest support article.

Read our guide to using the special consideration service

If you still need support please contact us via the Pearson Support Portal.


Timetables for this academic year can be viewed on our website.

We will also be publishing our provisional timetables for Summer 2025 on Monday 22nd January as agreed by JCQ and all other awarding bodies. They can be found on our Provisional timetables web page.

The consultation window for the provisional timetables will run from Monday 22nd January to Friday 23rd February. Please send any feedback you may have to

BTEC 2023-24 Centre Guides

We have released the BTEC Centre Guides for 2023-24 which are 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.

BTEC assessment page and bulletins

We have a Teaching, Learning and Assessment 2023/24 web page which will contain the most up-to-date information on vocational assessment for this academic year. The link to this page is provided below and it is a page you can refer to during the year.

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


In June we introduced Multi-factor Authentication as 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 rolled 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. 

Examiner Vacancies

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.

JCQ Guidance

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’. The use of calculators applies to a number of different subjects so please do pass this information to all who need to read it.
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.

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.   

Ofqual Guidance and updates

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.  

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

I hope you have found this update useful. If you have any queries please get in touch using the contact details provided below.

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