Biomedical and Forensic Science Level 3 | Ashington Campus | SCI0002F |Northumberland College

Biomedical and Forensic Science Level 3

Ashington Campus
Course Code:
Awarding Body:

BTEC National Foundation Diploma in Applied Science

Start Date:
03 September

Who is the course for?

Forensic and Biomedical Sciences are fascinating specialist areas within the study of applied science which offer work related programmes of scientific study. Forensic Science is the application of science to the law for example forensic scientists may locate and analyse physical traces (such as body fluids, hair, textiles, paint, glass etc.) to determine any possible connection between a suspect and a crime scene or victim. Biomedical science includes investigations of tissue samples and body fluids to diagnose disease or monitor treatments. For example biomedical scientists work in partnership with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to perform many different roles in NHS laboratories from cancer screening to diagnosing HIV, from blood transfusion for surgery to food poisoning and infection control.

Whether studying Forensic Science or Biomedical Science, you need a strong motivation for analytical and practical science work because in forensic science your results will be presented in court and in biomedical science patients' lives can depend on your analysis. You will be taught in our brand, fully equipped STEM centre opening 2017 including access to a clean room and full range of analytical equipment and provided with ample opportunity to undertake hands-on experiments which not only underpin theory, but also provide technical training.

Do I need any formal qualifications?

You will need to have prior achievement at Level 2, including a Science subject, such as a minimum of 4 x GCSE A* C including Maths, English and Double or Triple Science, or relevant L2 vocational equivalents.

What will I study on the course?

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A-levels and students applying for this course will first complete a one year Foundation Diploma in Applied Science including six units which develop the broad knowledge and underpinning technical skills required for in these specialist fields as well as provide an insight into these invaluable areas of science. Continuing on to complete the full two year Extended Diploma in Applied Science, learners will complete a further seven units (thirteen in total) which will deepen analytical skills and offer specific insight into these intriguing specialisms including modules such as; laboratory techniques, practical scientific procedures, microbiology, biomedical science, forensic evidence, collection and analysis.

The Extended Diploma is a BTEC National in Applied Science which depends on a combination of assessment styles to prepare learners for the rigour of possible HE study and the confidence that they can apply their skills in the workplace. Assessments will include: internally set assignments which incorporate case studies, written reports, projects, performance observation and practical work; externally set controlled investigations and practical work (units 3 and 7); 2 written exams consisting of 1.5 and 2 hours (units 1 and 5).

BTEC National Foundation Diploma in Applied Science

Many learners will wish to progress to university to study a whole variety of broad based scientific degree courses including; Forensic Computing, Forensic Law and Forensic Psychology; Biochemistry; Applied Microbiology; BSc Biotechnology; BSc Genetics and Molecular Biology. You may also wish to progress within Northumberland College to our HNC in Applied Biology L4 or directly into employment.

Applied Science qualifications are widely recognised as vocational courses which prepare students with the skills and knowledge for employment. As such, the skills provided in the course will provide opportunities at a technician level or to take the first steps into careers in laboratory-based forensic or biomedical science, forensic investigation within police or fire services or into the wide ranging roles within the public sector such as within the NHS or private sector in a range of local science industry specialist employers for example in pharmaceutical development, water and waste treatment companies and biotechnology.

Many of our learners study for free with a Fee Waiver when they are in receipt of qualifying benefits or studying a first full Level 2 or Level 3 qualification and meet age restrictions or are aged between 16-18.

If you are not entitled to a Fee Waiver, you may be entitled to receive Learner Support Funds to help with paying your course fees, or if you are aged over 19 and planning to study at Level 3 or 4 and have not previously studied at Level 3 or above you will be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan that covers the costs of your tuition fees. The loan will not cover the cost of any examination / registration fees and these will need to be paid for separately, or you may be entitled to receive Learner Support Funds to help cover the cost.

All learners may also apply for help with the cost of travel to college and the college may be able to help with the costs of childcare, travel, books, equipment and meals.

For more information our Help Hub team is available on 01670 841 200 or email

How can I apply for this course?

Apply online by clicking here and registering, alternatively please contact our Help Hub on 01670 841 200, email or drop in to one of our open events.

Alternatively, if this is the course for you please click Book and Enrol Now – please note this option is only available for certain courses.

Where can I get any further information about the course?

You may find further information within this website including within case studies and our media gallery. You may also come along to an open event – dates of college events are listed here

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