Applied Science

Applied Science

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Project Description

Applied Science (Level 3 Extended Certificate)

Exam Board AQA

Subject aims

The AQA Level 3 Certificate in Applied Science allows learners the opportunity to learn and understand the core principles and practical applications that underpin applied science. The qualification’s synoptic focus will ensure that learning is coherent across all three units with a practical application.

Each unit within the qualification has an applied purpose which acts as a focus for the learning in the unit. The applied purpose demands authentic work-related learning in each of the units. It also requires learners to consider how the use and application of their learning affects themselves, other individuals, employers, society and the environment. The applied purpose will also enable learners to learn in such a way that they develop:

  • knowledge and understanding of principle science disciplines
  • skills required for experimental and practical activities
  • skills required for independent learning and development
  • a range of generic and transferable skills
  • the ability to solve problems
  • the skills of project-based research, development and presentation
  • the ability to apply mathematical and ICT skills
  • the ability to apply learning in vocational contexts
  • the ability to apply all skills to prepare the student for employment


Curriculum overview

The Applied Science course is split into modules, with three being undertaken in Y12 and three in Year 13.

Year 12 modules include:

  • Unit 1 – a mandatory unit focusing on key concepts in science. This module is assessed by an externally marked exam process. There are three topics that are examined within unit 1; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Unit 2 – builds upon the topics taught in unit 1. Learners must produce a portfolio of six practical’s that are used in industry. This may involve testing techniques and products that already exist and are used in modern laboratory settings. This module is assessed internally and moderated by the examining board.
  • Unit 3 – an externally assessed unit which involves pre –release material to study in the months on the lead up to the exam. This unit focuses on science in the modern world and aims to develop analytical, evaluative and critical thinking skills. It explores topical issues such as fracking, antibiotic resistance and the roles of scientists.

Year 13 modules include:

  • Unit 4 – an externally assessed module. This unit is entitled the human body and focuses on diet, health and the systems linked to this such as the digestive system and the nervous system.
  • Unit 5 – allows learners to undertake a role as a research scientist and complete a scientific investigation. Learners will be asked to choose a topic from a given list. Their investigation can then develop along themes that they enjoy. This module is assessed internally and moderated by the examining board.
  • Unit 6 – is an option unit, learners can choose between microbiology, medical physics and organic chemistry. This module is assessed internally and moderated by the examining board.


Subject staff

To be confirmed


Useful links



  1. Go outdoors!  Have you actually spent any time observing the geology of the area you live in? What rocks or minerals are found in your area? Does your area have a history of extracting minerals? If so what were they, what were they used for, how did they obtain them? Are there any working or remains of mineral extraction industries?
  2. Are there any chemical or science based businesses in your area? A big ask, but one that could be really beneficial to you, write them a letter explaining that you are taking A level Applied Science and you want to see how chemistry is used in industry and you would like to visit / have some work experience. You never know this could lead to great things!!!!
  3. You could also try writing to / searching for your nearest university to see if they are running any summer schools for chemistry, biology, physics or applied science – they are usually free and give you the opportunity to experience the laboratories in a university.
  4. Science museums.

You could visit your nearest science museum. They often have special exhibitions that may be of interest to you.

  1. A 360 tour of the science museum

  1. May favourite link is for the natural history museum (it has lots of different science activities for you to take part in!

  1. Somerset Earth Science Centre:

  1. The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC)

This association brings together over 60 major science engagement organisations in the UK.

  1. Royal Observatory – London – Visit the Royal Observatory Greenwich to stand on the historic Prime Meridian of the World, see the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and explore your place in the universe at London’s only planetarium.

  1. Herschel Museum of Astronomy – Bath – As you walk around the picturesque Roman city – take an hour or two out at the home of one of the great scientists – discoverer of Infra-red radiation and Uranus.

  1. @Bristol – Bristol – home to the UK’s only 3D Planetarium and one of the biggest science centres.

  1. Center of the Cell – whitechapel, London the first science education centre in the world to be located within working biomedical research laboratories.

  1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – Science has always been at the heart of Kew. Our research, partnerships and collections contribute to some of the most important issues facing our planet.

  1. The Royal Institution – London – The birthplace of many important ideas of modern physics, including Michael Faraday’s lectures on electricity. Now home to the RI Christmas lectures and many exhibits of science history