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BTEC Extended Diploma

Forensic Science (Applied)

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Do you enjoy studying science but want to focus on vocational and practical skills for a career in STEM industries? Do you want to underpin your studies on other subjects with a thorough understanding of the applications of science? Do you prefer completing assessments throughout you course of study rather than in a final exam at the end of the course? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then Forensic Science is the course for you!

Forensic Science is a two-year course which is its own study programme, you will only study this subject. At the end of the first year, you can achieve a Foundation Diploma, which is equivalent to studying 1.5 A-Levels, before going on to complete the Extended Diploma in the second year of study which is equivalent to 3 A-Levels of the course of two years and carries the same amount of UCAS points as studying 3 individual A-Levels.

This course is ideal for anyone who wants to pursue a career in science and combines academic study with the acquisition of practical skills. Throughout the two-year course, you will explore key concepts across all three main sciences whilst also developing practical experience in laboratory techniques and investigatory skills, beneficial for employability within the science sector.

At the end of the course you will be awarded a BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with a Analytical and Forensic Science specialism.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 and above, including English Language.
A grade 5 or above in GCSE Maths and a minimum of grade 5 or 5-5 in GCSE Sciences.

Year 1
Unit 1 – Principles and Applications of Science I – This unit is assessed through an external examination. In this unit you will develop an understanding of key concepts relating to the major sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This creates a solid foundation for the other units you will study of over the rest of the course.

Unit 2 – Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. You will develop practical scientific skills, including techniques used in experiments and the ability to analyse results. You will also learn how to calibrate laboratory equipment as well as other transferable skills required for working within different scientific industries.

Unit 3 – Science Investigation Skills – This unit is assessed through an external examination. You will discover and explore the various stages of planning a scientific investigation and the skills required to conduct investigations, including how to record and interpret results, how to draw valid scientific conclusions from the results as well as evaluating the outcomes of different experiments.

Unit 4 – Laboratory Techniques and their Application – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. You will develop an understanding of the importance of health and safety in work-place laboratories, explore how data is stored and communicated within these organisations as well as preparing organic liquids and solids in the laboratory. You will also compare how industrial production and testing of compounds compares to the processes that you carry out in the laboratory.

Unit 8 – Physiology of the Human Body – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. You will look at the make-up of three human body systems: The musculoskeletal, the lymphatic and the digestive system. You will explore how these systems function and what happens when there is a problem with them.

Unit 19 – Practical Chemical Analysis – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. You will develop further the key practical skills from Unit 2 of the course, and you will gain insight into analytical techniques used in laboratories. You will explore different chemical analysis techniques to analysis commercially available products. You will learn how to interpret data from spectroscopic and instrumental chromatographic methods, which have become the techniques of choice for many industries.

Year 2 – Analytical and Forensic Science Specialism
Unit 5 – Principles and Applications of Science II – This unit is assessed through an external examination. This units builds on and extends the range of key concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics that were covered in Unit 1. The knowledge and understanding you gain in this unit will give you a strong basis for progression in the applied science sector. It is important that scientists and laboratory technicians are able to use and apply key science concepts to work efficiently and effectively in science and science-related organisations.

Unit 6 – Investigative Project – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. In this unit, you will carry out an investigative project that you have chosen in collaboration with you teacher. You will plan and carry out the project safely using scientific investigation skills, project management skills and draw on knowledge you have learnt from other units in your course.

Unit 7 – Contemporary Issues in Science – This unit is assessed through an external examination. In this unit, you will explore contemporary science issues and their impact on the world we live in. You will develop your critical thinking skills and analysis skills by learning how to assess the reliability of published scientific information. You will look at the environmental, ethical, moral, social, political and financial impacts of a range of contemporary science issues; from advances in medical treatments, including stem cell therapy and genetic engineering, to developments in nanotechnology and food technology.

Unit 11 – Genetics and Genetic Engineering – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. Massive advances in DNA technology over the last few decades have driven genetic research forward at an extraordinary rate. This unit you will develop your practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of genetics and genetic engineering techniques. This unit will be of interest to learners wishing to follow careers in forensic science, biomedical science, veterinary science, agricultural science or industrial science.

Unit 14 – Applications in Organic Chemistry – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. In this unit, you will learn that the majority of the substances we use every day are, or contain organic compounds. Pharmaceuticals such as aspirin and paracetamol, synthetic fibres for our clothes such as acrylics and polyesters, fuels for our transport vehicles, soaps and detergents, dyes, flavourings, perfumes and liquid crystal display materials are just a few of the many organic substances that are manufactured on an industrial scale for us to use. You will prepare and test a range of organic compounds and develop an understanding of their properties and uses in everyday life.

Unit 23 – Forensic Evidence, Collection and Analysis – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. In this unit, you will develop an understanding of the practical approaches to forensic investigations. You will explore techniques used in the collection, analysis and reporting of biological, chemical and physical evidence during forensic investigations. You will have the opportunity to take part in analysing a simulated crime scene undertaking the role of a scene of crime officer and a laboratory analyst. You will explore the different biological, chemical and physical analysis techniques forensic scientists use to analyse evidence collected from a crime scene, such as blood typing, microscopy of hairs and fibres, DNA testing of bodily fluids, fingerprint analysis, chemical testing of fire-arms residue and drugs, handwriting analysis, footwear analysis, ballistics and bone and skeletal physiology.

Unit 25 – Forensic Fire Investigation – This unit is assessed through internal assignments. In this unit, you will explore a specialised branch of forensic science, fire investigation. You will gain an understanding of how challenging the analysis of a fire scene can be for investigators due to the destruction that occurs at the scene and the health and safety implications that are involved. You will explore the ways in which investigators determine the origin of the fire, the cause and how the fire developed by examining the remains of the fire, uncovering evidence of what caused the incident and reconstructing the events at the scene of the fire.

The Extended Diploma in Applied Science carries equal UCAS points to 3 A-Levels. The first year of the Applied Science course is comprised of the same units for both the Biomedical Science pathway and the Analytical and Forensic Science pathway. This gives learners the flexibility to choose the pathway they are most interested in during their first year of study.

The knowledge and skills gain through studying the Applied Science course are beneficial to learners wanting to continue their studies within a scientific field such as undertaking a degree in Applied Science, Chemistry with Analytical Science, Pharmaceutical Science, Forensic Science, Biomedical Science, Radiography or Sports Science; or pursuing a career in as a laboratory science technician in industry or undertaking an engineering apprenticeship.

There is the opportunity to go to NHS Blood and Transport Body Worlds to support the learning of Human Body Systems in the first year and experience a real-life working laboratory. We organise regular talks for our STEM learners in the Sixth Form from scientists and academics through our STEM@Lunch series. You can join our Science Academy and Medical Academy whilst studying Applied Science. These academies explore career and university opportunities for science learners whilst expanding on what is taught in the classroom.

"SGS Sixth was an amazing experience for me. My teachers were always on hand to help with any of my problems and ensure I achieved my maximum potential."

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