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About the course

You will gain a deeper insight and understanding of the Science behind how our world works on this course. You will study, research and gain first-hand experience of a vast range of scientific areas within Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Links are made to current working practices used within related industries through speakers, visits and work experience. The course mixes theory and practical skills that are assessed through assignment work.

Entry requirements

You will need to hold a minimum of five GCSEs Grade 4/C or above, including Maths or English at Grade 4 (C) and Science at Grade 4 (C). You will also need to attend an interview with a member of the science team. Learners will need to have a mature and responsible outlook, as they will be required to work with a high degree of independence, meaning you will need to be motivated and manage your time effectively.


Within this first year you will have the opportunity to achieve a 90 Credit Diploma in Applied Science which is equivalent to 3 AS Levels in relation to UCAS points. Students who are successful are then able to progress onto one of two Year 2 Pathways; Medical Sciences or Forensic Science. There is also the option of moving onto a Laboratory Technicians Apprenticeship route too.

Upon completion of Year 2 of the programme, students will hold an Extended National Diploma in their chosen pathway, equivalent to 3 A Levels.

What you'll learn (core modules)

On your course you will study a variety of topics from biology, chemistry, and physics. You'll complete a research project where you design your own experiment and be able to carry out a COSHH assessment, you'll investigate what makes the human body work, and you'll spend lots of time in our laboratories honing your practical skills in Chemistry.


If you need to resit either English Language or Maths (If your grade is below 4 or C), there is time built into your normal college timetable where you can do this. For those of you who don't need to resit any GCSEs you will have this time as directed studies, which gives you the perfect opportunity to use the college facilities to complete your assignments.

Benefits, skills and character strengths

Through your Science studies at West Suffolk College you will have gained industry relevant, practical investigative skills, that will enable you to pursue a career in scientific industries or continue onto to study science at a Higher Education institute. Science gives you a great opportunity to develop transferrable skills such your critical thinking skills, through problem solving and designing investigations. When developing protocols, you will not get it right first time, but have to return to the drawing board and adapt your plans before trying again, developing character strengths such as resilience too. We give our students the opportunity to grow in confidence and ability to communicate their ideas through presentations work in house and external public engagement events throughout the year.

How will I be assessed?

Your course will be assessed using assignments throughout the year, these can include practical assessment, presentations, professional discussions and dissertation style professional posters as well as traditional written assignments.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

You will be predominantly based in our laboratories at our Bury St Edmunds campus

Where will the course take me?

After the Applied Science Level 3 you have a variety of options to choose from when progressing, there is of course our second year Extended Diploma pathways in either Forensic Science or Medical Science which are both courses that will give the same UCAS points as 3 A levels. The Extended Diploma opens up progression routes to university courses such as pharmaceutical science, biomedical science, psychology, analytical chemistry, radiology & microbiology. Last year everyone who applied to university was offered a place on their chosen courses.


You can make use of the practical skills that you have developed during your time at College by going into the workplace with a science apprenticeship. At West Suffolk College we work closely with local employers to make sure that we offer some of the best apprenticeships you can find. Last year we had 6 students go on to secure places on very competitive apprenticeship programmes, being given the places over degree qualified students due to their work ethic and laboratory skills.


Sometimes higher education and apprenticeships might not be your immediate choice after college, with some students opting to move straight into the workplace.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

You will require a calculator, memory stick, notebook/line paper, pen/pencils/coloured pens/highlighters and poly pockets. Relevant books to the course are available in the library to support your learning.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

Please apply using the online application process, if you require further information please use the enquiry facility or come and speak to us face to face at one of our open events.

Days & times

Starting September 2020

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