Oldham Sixth Form College


Applied Science (Vocational)

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  • Case study






OSFC provided me with the opportunity to study Applied Science, something which is not offered in many colleges.

Applied Science (Vocational)  

  •  Assessment
  • Year 1 & 2
    42% Exam; 58% coursework 
  • Exam board
    Edexcel (BTEC - Triple Diploma)


What Will You Learn?

You will follow a practical and balanced science programme covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics. You will visit real scientific workplaces and have the opportunity to  go on a work placement.  As assessment will be a combination of examined and internally assessed (coursework) units, you will learn to work independently and in groups. Your subject tutors will  motivate you to analyse and improve your own performance.  You will study a whole range of units including Human Physiology, Medical science techniques and Chemistry practical.


Year 1

  • Unit 1 Principles and Applications of Science I

This is an examined unit and contains core topics from Chemistry, Physics and Biology. You will study cells and tissues, learn about the structure of the periodic table and the properties of elements in different groups and also study the use of waves in communication. 

  • Unit 2 Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques

This coursework 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 some of the quantitative analytical techniques.

  • Unit 3 Science Investigation Skills

In this unit, you will plan and carry out experiments across all science subjects and then you will learn how to process and evaluate your data and experimental method. It will be assessed with a written exam.

  • Unit 4 Laboratory Techniques and their Application

In this coursework unit, you will investigate a scientific organisation to gain an understanding of how it operates. You will investigate health and safety practices in the organisation’s laboratories and consider related primary and secondary legislation.

  • Unit 8   Physiology of Human Body Systems

In this coursework unit, you will study how the digestive, lymphatic and musculoskeletal systems function in health and disease.

  • Unit 15 Electrical Circuits and their Applications

In this internally assessed unit, you will learn about the basic components of electrical circuits and the health and safety aspect of the use of electricity in domestic and industrial applications. You will also learn how to construct basic series and parallel circuits.

 Year 2

  • Unit 5 Principles and Applications of Science II

This is an examined unit and contains core topics from Chemistry, Physics and Biology. You will study how to monitor the health of the human body by taking measurements, examining properties and the use of substances and thermal physics materials and fluids.

  • Unit 6 Investigative Project

In this coursework unit, you will have the opportunity to independently plan and carry out your own scientific investigation.

  • Unit 7 Contemporary Issues in Science

This unit will give you an insight into the importance of science reporting and investigation. You will consider some current issues in science from a social, ethical, environmental and economic viewpoint. This unit will be assessed by an external examination.

  • Unit 11 Genetics and Genetics Engineering

In this internally assessed unit, you will learn how DNA is responsible for our characteristics and how these are passed onto the next generation. You will also have the opportunity to extract DNA from tissues and learn how it can be analysed using a variety of techniques.

  • Unit 14: Applications of Organic Chemistry

In this internally assessed unit unit, you will study a number of key classes of organic compounds that are important industrially, and will collect information about them, including their naming, reactions and properties.

  • Unit 18: Industrial Chemical Reactions

This internally assessed unit involves multiple aspects of physical chemistry including thermodynamics, rates of reaction and chemical equilibrium. Additional to the theory of these concepts, this unit links the theory to industrial applications and uses.

  • Unit 21 Medical Physics Applications

In this internally assessed unit, you will learn about the principles of ionising radiation, MRI and ultrasound and how they are used in hospitals to allow correct diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.

Special Features

  • Our superb laboratory facilities mean that you will have the opportunity to gain a wide range of practical and analytical skills in the fields of Chemistry, Physics and Biology.
  • You will have the opportunity to help out in the OSFC Regional Science Centre and get involved with primary science, Nuffield placements and STEM activities, during British Science Week.
  • All students studying a science course are able to become a Science Ambassador. This allows students to take part in events both at college and external trips to local universities and to promote science to younger students from local secondary and primary schools.

Where Will This Lead?

Former Applied Science students have progressed to HE courses, such as Chemistry with Forensics, Forensic Science, Pharmaceutical Management, Teaching, Nursing, Chemistry, Biology, Radiography , Optometry and Biomedical Sciences. There are also a wide variety of careers available for you to explore such as medical physicist, medical laboratory assistant or chemist.