The EDEXCEL Level 2 First Award in Principles of Applied Science is a one year course equivalent to one GCSE in science, graded at Level 2 pass, merit or distinction*. There are internally assessed units (75%) and also an externally assessed examination (25%).
It is suitable for students who have completed a GCSE Science course and who have either taken the decision that a vocational learning route is their best option for further progression or employment, or those who have failed to achieve a suitable grade in GCSE Science and wish to maximise their chances of higher education courses.
This course is a vocationally relevant qualification, where learners develop their knowledge and understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context. Learners are expected to take responsibility for their own learning when presented with assignment briefs and work to deadlines for the internally assessed units. Learners will develop skills that are essential for the modern day workplace, such as problem solving, independent study, working from a prescribed brief, working to deadlines, presenting information effectively, and accurately completing administrative tasks and processes.
The skills learnt in studying a BTEC first will aid progressions to further study and prepare learners to enter the workplace in due course. Typical employment opportunities may be as a laboratory technician or junior roles in energy companies, companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals or healthcare.
Subject to satisfactory performance, students may progress to the Level 3 Extended Certificate or Diploma courses if they wish to continue studying science at higher level.
The level 2 course has four mandatory units that cover the range of essential scientific principles and applications in chemistry, physics and biology.
Unit 1: Principles of Science
This unit is externally assessed by a 1 hour paper based exam (25%). You will study the fundamental core science concepts in biology, chemistry and physics. You will use and develop the knowledge learnt in this unit to the next three units in a vocational context (75% and internally assessed).
Unit 2: Chemistry and Our Earth
You will learn about chemical reactivity and bonding, the use of chemicals based on their physical and chemical properties, investigate the factors involved in the rate of chemical reactions and understand the factors that are affecting the Earth and its environment.
Unit 3: Energy and Our Universe
You will understand ionising radiation, know how electrical energy is produced via different sources, study the components of the solar system and understand how the universe is changing.
Unit 4: Biology and Our Environment
You will investigate the relationships that different organisms have with each other and with their environment, understand the effects of human activity on the environment and explore the factors that affect human health.
Level: NQF BTEC Level 2 First Award (equivalent to 1 GCSE in science)
Entry Requirements: 3 GCSE's at grades 3 or above and one GCSE at grade 4 or above. Grade 4 Maths and Grade 3 Science GCSE are recommended.