Applied Science Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate

Overview

Our Applied Science course provides a high-quality Level 3 qualification recognised by universities for UCAS tariff points. It enables students to gain practical laboratory skills and develop a theoretical scientific understanding of the world.

This course is designed in collaboration with experts spanning the breadth of the sector, this qualification focuses on the skills, knowledge and understanding that today’s universities and employers demand.

The Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate in Applied Science is an ideal accompanying qualification to science A levels and Health Science or Sport Science technical qualifications.

Details

The course consists of five compulsory units

Fundamentals of Science 

This unit covers key scientific concepts of science essential to all Cambridge technical qualifications in Laboratory Skills. This includes understanding the structures of biological systems, understanding chemical reactions, structures of atoms, bonding and material properties, energy transfer systems and electrical systems, and the basic principles of electricity. This unit is examined externally.

Laboratory Techniques  

This unit introduces you to standard laboratory equipment and techniques, including titration, colorimetry, calorimetry, chromatography, calibration procedures and laboratory safety. Through the practical tasks in the unit, you will develop proficiency in the quantitative analytical techniques of titration and colorimetry, including learning to calculate the concentration of solutions. You will use measurement of temperature to study cooling curves and be introduced to paper and thinlayer chromatography (TLC). You will also have the opportunity to calibrate equipment and will be encouraged to be aware of the safety aspects of given laboratory procedures and techniques.  This unit is examined externally.

Control of Hazards in the Laboratory  

Running a research lab is a challenge.  In all the hustle of loading the autosampler, pipetting, pouring, and mixing for research experiments, worker health and safety can be overlooked, inadvertently pushed aside or forgotten – sometimes with dire consequences.  Understanding the legal requirements and recognizing hazards will help you to identify and minimize many of the common safety and health hazards associated with running a research laboratory.  This unit presents an overview of the most common hazards encountered in typical research labs and will help you maintain a safe work environment.  It also links to many other units within the qualification and you can apply skills in the context of the practicals you will carry out elsewhere.  This unit is internally assessed.

Microbiology

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms.  Microorganisms affect every aspect of life on Earth. Some microorganisms cause disease but the vast majority are completely harmless.   The beneficial uses of microorganisms have been recognised and exploited for thousands of years in brewing, bread making and yogurt production.  Bacteria occupy every habitat on Earth and form a biomass that exceeds that of all plants and animals.  We now make use of bacterial ecology and metabolism in the production of natural fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.  Recent developments also include industrial applications such as cleaning up pollution and mining, and the production of important chemical and pharmaceutical products using genetically-engineered microorganisms.  Microorganisms are also responsible for various diseases, however, which affect millions of people worldwide every year.  As new antimicrobial therapies have been developed, microorganisms have developed resistance to them, and without the development of new drugs and other therapies, we face the possibility of unstoppable infectious diseases, as in the preantibiotic era.  In this unit you will learn about the commercial use of microorganisms in food production and in medical microbiology.  You will also develop a range of practical manipulative skills, including aseptic technique and those used in bacterial identification, which will enable you to work safely and competently in a microbiology laboratory.   This unit is Internally Assessed.

Product Testing Techniques 

Consumer products are rigorously tested and regulated both before being allowed to be sold and after sale.  Many cleaning, medical, hygiene and food products are bought directly “off the shelf”. The ‘consumer’ in this unit is defined as the next purchaser in the chain not necessarily a member of the public buying a product in a shop.  In this unit you will have the opportunity of using the knowledge and skills you have gained in the mandatory units 1 ‘Science Fundamentals’ and unit 2 ‘Laboratory Techniques’. You will use a range of laboratory techniques in your investigations from inception, through to testing products.   This unit is internally assessed

How will it be delivered?

External exams and internal coursework assessment.

Entry requirements

Grade 4 at GCSE in Science, English and Maths and grade 4 in two other subjects