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Science & Forensics Diploma

The Bedford Sixth Form Chemistry

Qualification: BTEC Level 3 National Diploma | Exam board: Pearson

Our Science BTEC National Diploma options will enable you to study all three key areas of science over the two year programme alongside an A-Level.

The course contains elements of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and a range of practical units that will equip you with a broad knowledge of Science at Level 3. In part of your second year of study, you will be able to choose between a Science or Forensic and criminal investigation focus for some of your units.

The Bedford Sixth Form Chemistry

Course content

The method of assessment varies between units, some require an exam or a task marked by the exam board whereas others are coursework based and assessed by your teachers. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diplomas in Science / Forensics are made up of 5 core units and then in your second year a further 3 units are taken which will depend on your chosen focus in Science or Forensic and criminal investigation (8 units in total across the two year course).

You will study 5 mandatory units, which are;

  • Unit 1: Principles and applications of science
  • Unit 2: Practical scientific procedures and techniques
  • Unit 3: Science investigation skills
  • Unit 4: Physiology of human body systems
  • Unit 5: Practical chemical analysis

If you choose a Science focus in your second year you will study:

  • Laboratory techniques and application
  • Principles and applications of science 2
  • Investigative project

If you choose a Forensic focus in your second year you will study:

  • Forensic investigation and procedures in practice
  • Applications of criminology
  • Criminal investigation procedures in practice

*Units are subject to change

Additional information

Is this course for me?

If you want to study science but do not want to study the conventional subjects at A-level, this course provides an alternative allowing you to mix sciences and another subject together.

Most students welcome the types of assessment, with a mixture of exams, examined tasks and coursework. Students will increase their knowledge of science, but in addition they will develop skills in writing reports and presenting scientific information.

Students will need to manage their time and their work effectively during the year.

Course highlights

Students will complete a range of experiments and exercise practical skills throughout their two year course. They will also undertake research and develop both practical and theoretical scientific skills. Students who choose a forensic and criminal investigation focus will investigate a simulated crime during the course, collecting and analysing evidence in the manner of a Scene of Crime Officer and Forensic scientist.


Assessment will take place at the end of each individual unit and can be either coursework based or exam based.

What can I do next?

The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to admission requirements for many relevant courses. The National Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigation will offer learners the opportunity to progress to some applied degree courses. Taken alongside other qualifications, it will prepare learners for progression to a wider range of degree programmes. For example, if taken alongside:

  • An A Level in Photography, learners can progress to forensic science degree courses
  • An A Level in Psychology, learners can progress to psychology courses
  • An A Level in Sociology, learners can progress to criminology courses.

How to apply

Applications for the academic year 2022/23 are now open. You will only need to make one application and will be asked to select the subjects you wish to study within the application.

If you need help you can call us on 01234 291291 or email us. You should also look at the financial support we offer.

Apply now