The course runs across two years and students will be continually assessed throughout, a combination of external exam units and internal assessed units will contribute to student’s final grade. The specification followed is Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science (first teaching from 2016)
In brief the course consists of 7 mandatory units and 6 option units:
1: Principles and Applications of Science I
2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
3: Science Investigation Skills
4: Laboratory Techniques and Their Applications
5: Principles and Applications of Science II
6: Investigative Project
7: Contemporary Issues in Science
8: Physiology of Human Body Systems
11: Genetics and Genetic Engineering
13: Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
15: Electrical Circuits and Their Applications
19: Practical Chemical Analysis
21: Medical Physics Applications
The course is taught by 3 teachers each delivering units within their scientific specialism, with the content of the examined unit being shared by the 3 teachers. At CAST we begin year 12 with the Principles and Applications of Science I, this covers core scientific concepts in all 3 disciplines and forms the basis of many of the units that follow, including cell structure and function, chemical structure and bonding and the use of electromagnetic waves in communication. An externally assessed exam is sat in January of year 12 consisting of three 30min papers.
Students then go on to study Practical Procedures and Techniques, this is an internally assessed unit which introduces analytical techniques that are relevant to occupations in the chemical industry, medicine, pharmaceuticals, education and many more. Students will have to demonstrate their ability to carry out practical techniques, present their findings and evaluate techniques as well as their own performance. They also complete Laboratory Techniques and Their Applications, this unit looks at a scientific organisation to gain an understanding of how it operates in terms of health and safety practices and risk management.
Three units are then taught alongside each other by each of the teachers these are: Physiology of Human Body Systems, Electrical Circuits and Their Applications and Practical Chemical Analysis. The physiology unit studies how 3 of the main body systems function; musculoskeletal, lymphatic and digestive system and what happens during dysfunction. The electrical circuits unit covers the principles of electricity, including measurements of electrical values, the construction of circuits and their use in society today. The application of practical chemistry includes practical application of quantitative analysis, spectroscopy, chromatography and titration. Each of these units is internally assessed through submitted reports and observation records.
Towards the end of year 12 students complete a practical assessed unit: Science Investigation Skills. Students will study the stages involved and the skills needed to plan and carry out a scientific investigation, they then carried out a supervised practical activity set by the exam board and a written exam paper to test their understanding of the procedures involved.
Students finish year 12 with an individual Investigative project. Students choose an area of science that they wish to explore, carry out a literature review, plan a detailed investigation, collect data and analyse their results to produce conclusions in a written scientific paper which is internally assessed.
Year 13 content builds on principles studied in year 12, it starts with Principles and Applications of Science II which builds on and extends the range of key science concepts in biology, chemistry and physics that were covered in Unit 1. The content of this unit is shared by each of the 3 specialist teachers and is assessed in three external 50 min exams sat in January of year 13. The content includes topics relating to properties and uses of materials, organs and systems and thermal physics, materials and fluids.
This is followed by three internally assessed units delivered by each of the teachers: Genetics and Genetic Engineering which looks at DNA structure, cell division and the principles of Mendelian genetics and variation, Applications of Inorganic Chemistry which covers acid-base equilibria, redox reactions and transition metal complexes. Finally, Medical Physics Applications which gives learners an understanding of the principles and production of ionising and non-ionising radiation and their applications in medical physics.
Students will also be working towards their final examined unit at the end of year 13, Contemporary Issues in Science. This unit is draws together skills from across the course, it enables learners to develop their understanding of evaluating the impact of contemporary scientific issues and how they are discussed in publications. It is assessed through a written taskbook set by the exam board and completed under supervised conditions.
• 3x 40min exam covering unit 1 biology, chemistry and physics, worth 90 marks in total – assessed externally
• 1 x controlled assessment practical task completed in college at a time set by Pearson, worth 60 marks – assessed externally
• 5 x assignments consisting of problem solving activities – assessed internally
• 3 x 50min exams covering unit 5 biology, chemistry and physics, worth 120 marks in total – assessed externally
• 1 x controlled assessment practical task completed in college at a time set by Pearsons, worth 50 marks – assessed externally
• 4 x assignments consisting of problem-solving activities – assessed internally
Minimum entry requirements are 5 Grade 9-4 GCSEs with an average GCSE grade of 5 including Double or Triple Science (grade 5) or Double Science (grade 5), Maths (grade 5) and English (grade 4).
Students graduating from Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology will be exceptionally well prepared to progress into higher education, work or an apprenticeship, ready to build careers that contribute to the Cambridge success story.
Graduating from Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology will give you a head start when it comes to choosing a university. Employers are seeking specialist science staff in all areas, and a degree will help take your career to the next level.
Our employer partners are highly supportive of apprenticeships, and offer opportunities to our students. Apprentices are paid while they train, attending college one day a week and learning hands-on in the workplace as they gain valuable qualifications. They also offer an alternative route to higher education.
The Cambridge area is full of highly successful employers ready to take on new staff who leave Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology with an impressive range of specialist qualifications – ready to go straight into the workplace and develop their careers.
More specifically, BTEC Applied Science is equivalent in subject content and difficulty to completing 3 A level courses and can open doors to a number of career options. Many students go on to complete higher level apprenticeship qualifications or university courses in areas such as biomedical science, forensic science, nursing, midwifery, radiography, chemical and physical engineering roles.