Specification - Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended

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Pearson
BTEC Level 3 National
Extended Certificate in
Applied Science
Specification
First teaching from September 2016
First certification from 2017
Issue 3
Pearson
BTEC Level 3 National
Extended Certificate in
Applied Science
Specification
First teaching September 2016
Issue 3
Edexcel, BTEC and LCCI qualifications
Edexcel, BTEC and LCCI qualifications are awarded by Pearson, the UK’s largest awarding body
offering academic and vocational qualifications that are globally recognised and benchmarked.
For further information, please visit our qualifications website at qualifications.pearson.com.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with us using the details on our contact us page at
qualifications.pearson.com/contactus
About Pearson
Pearson is the world's leading learning company, with 35,000 employees in more than 70 countries
working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning.
We put the learner at the centre of everything we do, because wherever learning flourishes, so do
people. Find out more about how we can help you and your learners at qualifications.pearson.com
This specification is Issue 3. Key changes are sidelined. We will inform centres of any changes to
this issue. The latest issue can be found on our website.
References to third-party material made in this specification are made in good faith. We do not
endorse, approve or accept responsibility for the content of materials, which may be subject to
change, or any opinions expressed therein. (Material may include textbooks, journals, magazines
and other publications and websites.)
ISBN 978 1 446 94525 4
All the material in this publication is copyright
© Pearson Education Limited 2015
Welcome
With a track record built over 30 years of learner success, BTEC Nationals are widely recognised
by industry and higher education as the signature vocational qualification at Level 3. They provide
progression to the workplace either directly or via study at a higher level. Proof comes from
YouGov research, which shows that 62% of large companies have recruited employees with BTEC
qualifications. What’s more, well over 100,000 BTEC students apply to UK universities every year
and their BTEC Nationals are accepted by over 150 UK universities and higher education institutes
for relevant degree programmes either on their own or in combination with A Levels.
Why are BTECs so successful?
BTECs embody a fundamentally learner-centred approach to the curriculum, with a flexible,
unit-based structure and knowledge applied in project-based assessments. They focus on the
holistic development of the practical, interpersonal and thinking skills required to be able to
succeed in employment and higher education.
When creating the BTEC Nationals in this suite, we worked with many employers, higher education
providers, colleges and schools to ensure that their needs are met. Employers are looking for
recruits with a thorough grounding in the latest industry requirements and work-ready skills such
as teamwork. Higher education needs students who have experience of research, extended writing
and meeting deadlines.
We have addressed these requirements with:
• a range of BTEC sizes, each with a clear purpose, so there is something to suit each
learner’s choice of study programme and progression plans
• refreshed content that is closely aligned with employers’ and higher education needs for a
skilled future workforce
• assessments and projects chosen to help learners progress to the next stage. This means
some are set by you to meet local needs, while others are set and marked by Pearson
so that there is a core of skills and understanding that is common to all learners. For
example, a written test can be used to check that learners are confident in using technical
knowledge to carry out a certain job.
We are providing a wealth of support, both resources and people, to ensure that learners and their
teachers have the best possible experience during their course. See Section 10 for details of the
support we offer.
A word to learners
Today’s BTEC Nationals are demanding, as you would expect of the most respected applied learning
qualification in the UK. You will have to choose and complete a range of units, be organised, take
some assessments that we will set and mark, and keep a portfolio of your assignments. But you
can feel proud to achieve a BTEC because, whatever your plans in life – whether you decide to
study further, go on to work or an apprenticeship, or set up your own business – your BTEC
National will be your passport to success in the next stage of your life.
Good luck, and we hope you enjoy your course.
Collaborative development
Students completing their BTEC Nationals in Applied Science will be aiming to go on to
employment, often via the stepping stone of higher education. It was, therefore, essential that
we developed these qualifications in close collaboration with experts from professional bodies,
businesses and universities, and with the providers who will be delivering the qualifications.
To ensure that the content meets providers’ needs and provides high-quality preparation for
progression, we engaged experts. We are very grateful to all the university and further education
lecturers, teachers, employers, professional body representatives and other individuals who have
generously shared their time and expertise to help us develop these new qualifications.
In addition, universities, professional bodies and businesses have provided letters of support
confirming that these qualifications meet their entry requirements. These letters can be viewed
on our website.
Summary of Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in
Applied Science specification Issue 2 and 3 changes
Summary of changes made between previous issues and this
current issue
Page
number
An additional section has been added which gives details on the Total Qualification Time
(TQT) allocated to this qualification.
Page 2
Update to qualification, sizes and purpose table – TQT values inserted.
Page 3
The wording for the unit title has been revised to Forensic Traffic Collision Investigation.
Page 6
In the summary of external assessment table under Unit 3, the second bullet point
has changed to ‘The supervised assessment period is arranged over 9 days timetabled
by Pearson’.
Page 13
In the summary of external assessment table, under Unit 3 the third bullet point has
changed to ‘The scenario and practical investigation in Part A is given to learners 8 days
before Part B is scheduled and is undertaken under supervision in a single session of
3 hours’.
Page 13
In the summary of external assessment table, under Unit 3, the fourth bullet point has
changed to ‘Part B is a set task that is undertaken under supervision in a single session
of 1.5 hours in a session timetabled by Pearson’.
Page 13
The wording under Unit 1 content – B3 Tissue structure and function has changed to
‘interpretation of graphical displays of a nerve impulse and electroencephalogram (ECG)
recordings’.
Page 23
The learning aim D pass standard has been revised for Unit 2, please see sidelined
changes.
Page 38
In Unit 3, under the summary of assessment heading, paragraph four now reads ‘Part A
will be released by Pearson 8 days before the supervised assessment session for Part B.
Part A allows learners to complete the practical investigation and obtain results required
for Part B in one session lasting one hour and 30 minutes, under supervised conditions.
Part B is taken in a single session immediately as timetabled by Pearson’.
Page 39
Unit 9: learning aim A Distinction standard ‘nervous central’ changed to ‘central
nervous’.
Page 65
Unit 15: there have been a number of changes to the unit please see sidelined changes.
Page 122
to 126
If you need further information on these changes or what they mean, contact us via our website at:
qualifications.pearson.com/en/support/contact-us.html.
Contents
Introduction to BTEC National qualifications for the applied science sector 1
Total Qualification Time
2
Qualifications, sizes and purposes at a glance
3
Structures of the qualifications at a glance
5
Qualification and unit content
7
Assessment
7
Grading for units and qualifications
9
UCAS Tariff points
9
1 Qualification purpose
10
2 Structure
12
3 Units
14
Understanding your units
14
Index of units
17
4 Planning your programme
139
5 Assessment structure and external assessment
141
Introduction
141
Internal assessment
141
External assessment
141
6 Internal assessment
143
Principles of internal assessment
143
Setting effective assignments
145
Making valid assessment decisions
147
Planning and record-keeping
149
7 Administrative arrangements
150
Introduction
150
Learner registration and entry
150
Access to assessment
150
Administrative arrangements for internal assessment
151
Administrative arrangements for external assessment
152
Dealing with malpractice in assessment
154
Certification and results
156
Additional documents to support centre administration
156
8 Quality assurance
157
9 Understanding the qualification grade
158
10 Resources and support
162
Support for setting up your course and preparing to teach
162
Support for teaching and learning
163
Support for assessment
163
Training and support from Pearson
164
Appendix 1 Links to industry standards
165
Appendix 2 Glossary of terms used for internally-assessed units
166
Introduction to BTEC National qualifications
for the applied science sector
This specification contains the information you need to deliver the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National
Extended Certificate in Applied Science. The specification signposts you to additional handbooks
and policies. It includes all the units for this qualification.
This qualification is part of the suite of Applied Science qualifications offered by Pearson. In the
suite there are qualifications that focus on different progression routes, allowing learners to choose
the one best suited to their aspirations.
All qualifications in the suite share some common units and assessments, allowing learners some
flexibility in moving between sizes. The qualification titles are given below.
Some BTEC National qualifications provide a broad introduction that gives learners transferable
knowledge and skills. These qualifications are for post-16 learners who want to continue their
education through applied learning. The qualifications prepare learners for a range of higher
education courses and job roles related to a particular sector. They provide progression either by
meeting entry requirements in their own right or by being accepted alongside other qualifications
at the same level and adding value to them.
In the applied science sector these qualifications are:
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Applied Science (180 GLH) 601/7434/1
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science (360 GLH) 601/7436/5
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Applied Science (510 GLH) 601/7438/9
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Applied Science (720 GLH) 601/7435/3
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science (1080 GLH) 601/7437/7
This specification signposts all the other essential documents and support that you need as a
centre in order to deliver, assess and administer the qualification, including the staff development
required. A summary of all essential documents is given in Section 7. Information on how we can
support you with this qualification is given in Section 10.
The information in this specification is correct at the time of publication.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
Specification – Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
1
Total Qualification Time
For all regulated qualifications, Pearson specifies a total number of hours that it is estimated
learners will require to complete and show achievement for the qualification: this is the Total
Qualification Time (TQT). Within TQT, Pearson identifies the number of Guided Learning Hours
(GLH) that we estimate a centre delivering the qualification might provide. Guided learning means
activities, such as lessons, tutorials, online instruction, supervised study and giving feedback on
performance, that directly involve teachers and assessors in teaching, supervising and invigilating
learners. Guided learning includes the time required for learners to complete external assessment
under examination or supervised conditions.
In addition to guided learning, other required learning directed by teachers or assessors will include
private study, preparation for assessment and undertaking assessment when not under
supervision, such as preparatory reading, revision and independent research.
BTEC Nationals have been designed around the number of hours of guided learning expected. Each
unit in the qualification has a GLH value of 60, 90 or 120. There is then a total GLH value for the
qualification.
Each qualification has a TQT value. This may vary within sectors and across the suite depending on
the nature of the units in each qualification and the expected time for other required learning.
The following table shows all the qualifications in this sector and their GLH and TQT values.
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Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –Specification –
Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
Qualifications, sizes and purposes at a glance
Title
Size and structure
Summary purpose
Pearson BTEC Level 3
National Certificate in
Applied Science
180 GLH (235 TQT)
An introduction to a vocational sector
through applied learning.
Equivalent in size to 0.5 of an
A Level.
2 units of which both are
mandatory and 1 is external.
Mandatory content (100%).
External assessment (50%).
Pearson BTEC Level 3
National Extended
Certificate in Applied
Science
Pearson BTEC Level 3
National Foundation
Diploma in Applied
Science
Pearson BTEC Level 3
National Diploma in
Applied Science
360 GLH (455 TQT)
Equivalent in size to one
A Level.
4 units of which 3 are
mandatory and 2 are external.
Mandatory content (83%).
External assessment (58%).
510 GLH (640 TQT)
Equivalent in size to 1.5
A Levels.
6 units of which 4 are
mandatory and 2 are external.
Mandatory content (76%).
External assessment (41%).
720 GLH (890 TQT)
Equivalent in size to two
A Levels.
8 units of which 6 are
mandatory and 3 are external.
Mandatory content (83%).
External assessment (46%).
For learners for whom an element of
science would be complementary, the
qualification supports progression to
higher education when taken as part
of a programme of study that includes
other vocational or general
qualifications.
Designed for learners who are
interested in learning about the sector
alongside other fields of study, with a
view to progressing to a wide range of
higher education courses, not
necessarily in applied science.
To be taken as part of a programme of
study that includes other appropriate
BTEC Nationals or A Levels.
Designed as a one-year, full-time
course of study, or as part of a
two-year, full-time study programme
for learners who wish to study another
area alongside it, which may contrast
or complement the Applied Science
Foundation Diploma.
If taken as part of a programme
of study that includes other BTEC
Nationals or A Levels, it supports
progression to higher education.
Designed to be the substantive part
of a 16–19 study programme for
learners who want a strong core
of sector study.
May be complemented with other
BTEC Nationals or A Levels to support
progression to higher education
courses in applied science.
The additional qualification(s) studied
allow learners either to give breadth to
their study by choosing a contrasting
subject, or to give their studies more
focus by choosing a complementary
subject.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
Specification – Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
3
Title
Size and structure
Summary purpose
Pearson BTEC Level 3
National Extended
Diploma in Applied
Science
1080 GLH (1345 TQT)
Designed as a two-year, full-time
course that meets entry requirements
in its own right for learners who want
to progress to higher education
courses in the applied science sector
before entering employment.
4
Equivalent in size to three
A Levels.
13 units of which 7 are
mandatory and 4 are external.
Mandatory content (67%).
External assessment (42%).
Learners can either choose a
pathway which focuses on a particular
occupational area, such as biomedical
science, analytical and forensic
science, physical science; or take
a general route for further study in
the sector.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –Specification –
Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
Structures of the qualifications at a glance
This table shows all the units and the qualifications to which they contribute. The full structure for this Pearson BTEC Level 3 National in Applied Science is
shown in Section 2. You must refer to the full structure to select units and plan your programme.
Key
Unit assessed externally
BS
Biomedical Science
Unit (number and title)
M
AFS
Mandatory units
O
Analytical and Forensic Science
Optional units
PS
Physical Science
Extended Diploma (1080 GLH)
Unit
size
Certificate
Extended
Certificate
Foundation
Diploma
Diploma
Extended
Diploma
(GLH)
(180 GLH)
(360 GLH)
(510 GLH)
(720 GLH)
(1080 GLH)
BS
AFS
PS
1
Principles and Applications of Science I
90
M
M
M
M
M
M
M
M
2
Practical Scientific Procedures and
Techniques
90
M
M
M
M
M
M
M
M
3
Science Investigation Skills
M
M
M
M
M
M
M
4
Laboratory Techniques and their
Application
M
M
M
M
M
M
5
Principles and Applications of Science II
120
M
M
M
M
M
6
Investigative Project
90
M
M
M
M
M
7
Contemporary Issues in Science
M
M
M
M
8
Physiology of Human Body Systems
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
9
Human Regulation and Reproduction
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
10 Biological Molecules and Metabolic
Pathways
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
11 Genetics and Genetic Engineering
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
12 Diseases and Infections
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
13 Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
14 Applications of Organic Chemistry
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
15 Electrical Circuits and their Application
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
16 Astronomy and Space Science
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
17 Microbiology and Microbiological
Techniques
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
120
90
120
continued overleaf
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
Specification – Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
5
Unit (number and title)
Extended Diploma (1080 GLH)
Unit
size
Certificate
Extended
Certificate
Foundation
Diploma
Diploma
Extended
Diploma
(GLH)
(180 GLH)
(360 GLH)
(510 GLH)
(720 GLH)
(1080 GLH)
BS
AFS
PS
18 Industrial Chemical Reactions
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
19 Practical Chemical Analysis
60
O
O
O
O
O
O
20 Biomedical Science
60
O
O
O
O
O
21 Medical Physics Applications
60
O
O
O
O
O
22 Materials Science
60
O
O
O
O
O
23 Forensic Evidence, Collection and
Analysis
60
O
O
O
O
O
24 Cryogenics and Vacuum Technology
60
O
O
O
O
25 Forensic Fire Investigation
60
O
O
O
O
26 Forensic Traffic Collision Investigation
60
O
O
O
O
6
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –Specification –
Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
Qualification and unit content
Pearson has developed the content of the new BTEC Nationals in collaboration with employers and
representatives from higher education and relevant professional bodies. In this way, we have
ensured that content is up to date and that it includes the knowledge, understanding, skills and
attributes required in the sector.
Each qualification in the suite has its own purpose. The mandatory and optional content provides a
balance of breadth and depth, while retaining a degree of choice for individual learners to study
content relevant to their own interests and progression choices. Also, the content may be applied
during delivery in a way that is relevant to local employment needs.
The proportion of mandatory content ensures that all learners are following a coherent programme
of study and acquiring the knowledge, understanding and skills that will be recognised and valued.
Learners are expected to show achievement across mandatory units as detailed in Section 2.
BTEC Nationals have always required applied learning that brings together knowledge and
understanding (the cognitive domain) with practical and technical skills (the psychomotor domain).
This is achieved through learners performing vocational tasks that encourage the development of
appropriate vocational behaviours (the affective domain) and transferable skills. Transferable skills
are those such as communication, teamwork, research and analysis, which are valued in both
higher education and the workplace.
Our approach provides rigour and balance, and promotes the ability to apply learning immediately
in new contexts. Further details can be found in Section 2.
Assessment
Assessment is specifically designed to fit the purpose and objective of the qualification. It includes a
range of assessment types and styles suited to vocational qualifications in the sector. There are
three main forms of assessment that you need to be aware of: external, internal and synoptic.
Externally-assessed units
Each external assessment for a BTEC National is linked to a specific unit. All of the units developed
for external assessment are of 90 or 120 GLH to allow learners to demonstrate breadth and depth
of achievement. Each assessment is taken under specified conditions, then marked by Pearson and
a grade awarded. Learners must achieve all external units at pass grade or above. Learners are
permitted to resit any external assessment only once during their programme.
The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the Applied Science suite are:
• examinations – all learners take the same assessment at the same time, normally with a
written outcome
• set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate
understanding through completion of a vocational task.
Some external assessments include a period of preparation using set information. External
assessments are available twice a year. For detailed information on the external assessments
please see the table in Section 2. For further information on preparing for external assessment
see Section 5.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
Specification – Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
7
Internally-assessed units
Most units in the sector are internally assessed and subject to external standards verification. This
means that you set and assess the assignments that provide the final summative assessment of
each unit, using the examples and support that Pearson provides. Before you assess you will need
to become an approved centre, if you are not one already. You will need to prepare to assess using
the guidance in Section 6.
In line with the requirements and guidance for internal assessment, you select the most
appropriate assessment styles according to the learning set out in the unit. This ensures that
learners are assessed using a variety of styles to help them develop a broad range of transferable
skills. Learners could be given opportunities to:
•
•
•
•
write up the findings of their own research
use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations
carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes
demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate equipment, procedures and
techniques.
You will make grading decisions based on the requirements and supporting guidance given in the
units. Learners may not make repeated submissions of assignment evidence. For further
information see Section 6.
Synoptic assessment
Synoptic assessment requires learners to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, in
an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge
from across the whole sector as relevant to a key task. BTEC learning has always encouraged
learners to apply their learning in realistic contexts using scenarios and realistic activities that will
permit learners to draw on and apply their learning. For these qualifications we have formally
identified units to be a focus for synoptic assessment. Centres need to plan appropriate delivery of
units with synoptic assessment to ensure that learners would be ready to take assessment as they
are expected to be able to draw on a range of content. Synoptic units may be internally or
externally assessed. The particular unit that you will need to treat synoptically for this qualification
is shown in the structure in Section 2.
Language of assessment
Assessment of the internal and external units for these qualifications will be available in English. All
learner work must be in English. A learner taking the qualifications may be assessed in British or
Irish Sign Language where it is permitted for the purpose of reasonable adjustment. For
information on reasonable adjustments see Section 6.
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Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –Specification –
Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
Grading for units and qualifications
Achievement in the qualification requires a demonstration of depth of study in each unit, assured
acquisition of a range of practical skills required for employment or progression to HE, and
successful development of transferable skills. Learners achieving a qualification will have achieved
across mandatory units including external and synoptic assessment.
Units are assessed using a grading scale of Distinction, Merit, Pass and Unclassified. All mandatory
and optional units contribute proportionately to the overall qualification grade, for example a unit of
120 GLH will contribute double that of a 60 GLH unit.
Qualifications in the suite are graded using a scale of P to D*, or PP to D*D*, or PPP to D*D*D*
Please see Section 9 for more details. The relationship between qualification grading scales and unit
grades will be subject to regular review as part of Pearson’s standards monitoring processes on the
basis of learner performance and in consultation with key users of the qualification.
UCAS Tariff points
The BTEC Nationals attract UCAS points. Please go to the UCAS website for full details of the
points allocated.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
Specification – Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
9
1 Qualification purpose
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science
In this section you will find information on the purpose of this qualification and how its design
meets that purpose through the qualification objective and structure. We publish a full ‘Statement
of Purpose’ for each qualification on our website. These statements are designed to guide you and
potential learners to make the most appropriate choice about the size of qualification suitable at
recruitment.
Who is this qualification for?
The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science is intended as an Applied
General qualification for post-16 learners who want to continue their education through applied
learning and who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the
applied science sector. The qualification is equivalent in size to one A Level and aims to give a
coherent introduction to study of the applied science sector.
Learners who wish to take this qualification will have completed a Level 2 programme of learning
with GCSEs or vocational qualifications.
What does this qualification cover?
The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it
supports progression to higher education. Employers and professional bodies have also been
involved and consulted to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current
practice for learners planning to enter employment directly in the applied science sector.
Learners will study three mandatory units:
• Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
• Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
• Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills.
Learners choose one optional unit which has been designed to support choices in progression to
applied science courses in higher education.
Optional units include:
•
•
•
•
Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems
Unit 10: Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
Unit 13: Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
Unit 15: Electrical Circuits and their Application.
What could this qualification lead to?
The requirements of the qualification will mean that learners develop the transferable and higher
order skills which are valued by higher education providers and employers. For example, when
studying Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills, learners will develop skills including how to plan
investigations, collecting, analysing, and presenting data and communicating results which support
some of the skills learners need to progress to higher education, employment, self-employment or
training.
The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as
contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses if taken alongside other
qualifications as part of a two-year programme of learning, including, but not exclusively, those
which are science-related.
The qualification can be taken as part of a diverse programme, leaving progression options fully
open. It can also give context to subjects which would benefit from some scientific background.
This will depend on the combination of qualifications chosen. For example, taken alongside:
• A Levels such as Mathematics, Physics and Design and Technology to progress to
engineering related courses
• A Level in Psychology and BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Sport to progress
to sport psychology courses
10
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –Specification –
Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
• BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Health and Social Care to progress to nursing courses
• BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science to progress to sport and
exercise science courses
• A Levels in Geography and Computing to progress to geography or environmental science
courses.
Learners should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes with specific higher
education providers.
How does the qualification provide employability skills?
In the BTEC National units there are opportunities during the teaching and learning phase to give
learners practice in developing employability skills. Where employability skills are referred to in this
specification, we are generally referring to skills in the following three main categories:
• cognitive and problem-solving skills: use critical thinking, approach non-routine
problems applying expert and creative solutions, use systems and technology
• intrapersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and
influencing, self-presentation
• interpersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and
development.
There are also specific requirements in some units for assessment of these skills where relevant.
For example, where learners are required to undertake real or simulated activities.
How does the qualification provide transferable knowledge and skills for
higher education?
All BTEC Nationals provide transferable knowledge and skills that prepare learners for progression
to university. The transferable skills that universities value include:
• the ability to learn independently
• the ability to research actively and methodically
• to be able to give presentations and be active group members.
BTEC learners can also benefit from opportunities for deep learning where they are able to make
connections among units and select areas of interest for detailed study. BTEC Nationals provide a
vocational context in which learners can develop the knowledge and skills required for particular
degree courses, including:
•
•
•
•
•
reading scientific and technical texts
effective writing
analytical skills
practical skills
preparation for assessment methods used in degrees.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
Specification – Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
11
2 Structure
Qualification structure
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science
Mandatory units
There are 3 mandatory units, 1 internal and 2 external. Learners must complete and achieve at
pass grade or above for all these units.
Optional units
Learners must complete 1 optional unit.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science
Unit
number
Unit title
GLH
Type
How assessed
Mandatory units – learners complete and achieve all units
1
Principles and Applications of
Science I
90
2
Practical Scientific Procedures and
Techniques
90
3
Science Investigation Skills
120
Mandatory
Mandatory
External
Internal
Mandatory
Synoptic
External
Optional units – learners complete 1 unit
12
8
Physiology of Human Body Systems
60
Optional
Internal
9
Human Regulation and Reproduction
60
Optional
Internal
10
Biological Molecules and Metabolic
Pathways
60
11
Genetics and Genetic Engineering
60
Optional
Internal
12
Diseases and Infections
60
Optional
Internal
13
Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
60
Optional
Internal
14
Applications of Organic Chemistry
60
Optional
Internal
15
Electrical Circuits and their Application
60
Optional
Internal
16
Astronomy and Space Science
60
Optional
Internal
Optional
Internal
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –Specification –
Issue 3 – January 2017 © Pearson Education Limited 2015
External assessment
This is a summary of the type and availability of external assessment, which is 58% of the total
qualification GLH. See Section 5 and the units and sample assessment materials for more
information.
Unit
Type
Availability
Unit 1: Principles and
Applications of Science I
• Written examination set and
Jan and May/June
Unit 3: Science
Investigation Skills
• A task set and marked by Pearson
marked by Pearson.
• 1.5 hours.
• 90 marks.
and completed under supervised
conditions.
• The supervised assessment period
First assessment:
May/June from 2017
Jan and May/June
First assessment:
May/June 2017
is arranged over 9 days
timetabled by Pearson.
• The scenario and practical
investigation in Part A is given to
learners 8 days before Part B is
scheduled and is undertaken
under supervision in a single
session of 3 hours.
• Part B is a set task that is
undertaken under supervision in a
single session of 1.5 hours in a
session timetabled by Pearson
• 60 marks.
Synoptic assessment
The mandatory synoptic unit requires learners to apply learning from across the qualification to the
completion of a defined vocational task. For Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills, learners complete
a practical investigation which assesses the skills learnt in the unit though the context of the
content areas, and allows learners to apply both transferable and specialist knowledge and skills,
drawing on the knowledge and practical techniques they will have met in Unit 1 and Unit 2.
Learners complete the task using knowledge and understanding from their studies of the sector and
apply both transferable and specialist knowledge and skills.
In delivering the unit you need to encourage learners to draw on their broader learning so they will
be prepared for the assessment.
Employer involvement in assessment and delivery
You are encouraged to give learners opportunities to be involved with employers.
See Section 4 for more information.
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13
3 Units
Understanding your units
The units in this specification set out our expectations of assessment in a way that helps you to
prepare your learners for assessment. The units help you to undertake assessment and quality
assurance effectively.
Each unit in the specification is set out in a similar way. There are two types of unit format:
• internal units
• external units.
This section explains how the units work. It is important that all teachers, assessors, internal
verifiers and other staff responsible for the programme review this section.
Internal units
Section
Explanation
Unit number
The number is in a sequence in the sector. Numbers may not be
sequential for an individual qualification.
Unit title
This is the formal title that we always use and it appears on
certificates.
Level
All units are at Level 3 on the national framework.
Unit type
This shows if the unit is internal or external only. See structure
information in Section 2 for full details.
GLH
Units may have a GLH value of 120, 90 or 60 GLH. This indicates the
numbers of hours of teaching, directed activity and assessment
expected. It also shows the weighting of the unit in the final
qualification grade.
Unit in brief
A brief formal statement on the content of the unit that is helpful in
understanding its role in the qualification. You can use this in summary
documents, brochures etc.
Unit introduction
This is designed with learners in mind. It indicates why the unit is
important, how learning is structured, and how learning might be
applied when progressing to employment or higher education.
Learning aims
These help to define the scope, style and depth of learning of the unit.
You can see where learners should be learning standard requirements
(‘understand’) or where they should be actively researching
(‘investigate’). You can find out more about the verbs we use in
learning aims in Appendix 2.
Summary of unit
This new section helps teachers to see at a glance the main content
areas against the learning aims and the structure of the assessment.
The content areas and structure of assessment are required. The forms
of evidence given are suitable to fulfil the requirements.
Content
This section sets out the required teaching content of the unit. Content
is compulsory except when shown as ‘e.g.’. Learners should be asked
to complete summative assessment only after the teaching content for
the unit or learning aim(s) has been covered.
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Section
Explanation
Assessment criteria
Each learning aim has Pass and Merit criteria. Each
assignment has at least one Distinction criterion.
A full glossary of terms used is given in Appendix 2. All
assessors need to understand our expectations of the
terms used.
Distinction criteria represent outstanding performance in
the unit. Some criteria require learners to draw together
learning from across the learning aims.
Essential information
for assignments
This shows the maximum number of assignments that
may be used for the unit to allow for effective summative
assessment, and how the assessment criteria should be
used to assess performance.
Further information for
teachers and assessors
The section gives you information to support the
implementation of assessment. It is important that this
is used carefully alongside the assessment criteria.
Resource requirements
Any specific resources that you need to be able to teach
and assess are listed in this section. For information on
support resources see Section 10.
Essential information for
assessment decisions
This information gives guidance for each learning aim
or assignment of the expectations for Pass, Merit and
Distinction standard. This section contains examples and
essential clarification.
Links to other units
This section shows you the main relationship among units.
This section can help you to structure your programme and
make best use of materials and resources.
Employer involvement
This section gives you information on the units that can be
used to give learners involvement with employers. It will
help you to identify the kind of involvement that is likely
to be successful.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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15
External units
Section
Explanation
Unit number
The number is in a sequence in the sector. Numbers may not be
sequential for an individual qualification.
Unit title
This is the formal title that we always use and it appears on
certificates.
Level
All units are at Level 3 on the national framework.
Unit type
This shows if the unit is internal or external only. See structure
information in Section 2 for full details.
GLH
Units may have a GLH value of 120, 90 or 60 GLH. This
indicates the numbers of hours of teaching, directed activity
and assessment expected. It also shows the weighting of the
unit in the final qualification grade.
Unit in brief
A brief formal statement on the content of the unit.
Unit introduction
This is designed with learners in mind. It indicates why the unit
is important, how learning is structured, and how learning
might be applied when progressing to employment or higher
education.
Summary of
assessment
This sets out the type of external assessment used and the way
in which it is used to assess achievement.
Assessment outcomes
These show the hierarchy of knowledge, understanding, skills
and behaviours that are assessed. Includes information on how
this hierarchy relates to command terms in sample assessment
materials (SAMs).
Essential content
For external units all the content is obligatory, the depth of
content is indicated in the assessment outcomes and sample
assessment materials (SAMs). The content will be sampled
through the external assessment over time, using the variety of
questions or tasks shown.
Grade descriptors
We use grading descriptors when making judgements on grade
boundaries. You can use them to understand what we expect to
see from learners at particular grades.
Key terms typically
used in assessment
These definitions will help you analyse requirements and
prepare learners for assessment.
Resources
Any specific resources that you need to be able to teach and
assess are listed in this section. For information on support
resources see Section 10.
Links to other units
This section shows the main relationship among units. This
section can help you to structure your programme and make
best use of materials and resources.
Employer involvement
This section gives you information on the units that can be used
to give learners involvement with employers. It will help you to
identify the kind of involvement that is likely to be successful.
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Index of units
This section contains all the units developed for this qualification. Please refer to pages 5–6 to
check which units are available in all qualifications in the applied science sector.
Unit 1:
Principles and Applications of Science I
19
Unit 2:
Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
29
Unit 3:
Science Investigation Skills
39
Unit 8:
Physiology of Human Body Systems
49
Unit 9:
Human Regulation and Reproduction
59
Unit 10:
Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
67
Unit 11:
Genetics and Genetic Engineering
77
Unit 12:
Diseases and Infection
87
Unit 13:
Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
97
Unit 14:
Applications of Organic Chemistry
109
Unit 15:
Electrical Circuits and their Applications
117
Unit 16:
Astronomy and Space Science
127
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17
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
Level: 3
Unit type: External
Guided learning hours: 90
Unit in brief
This unit covers some of the key science concepts in biology, chemistry and physics. Further key
science concepts are considered in Unit 5: Principles and Applications of Science II.
Unit introduction
Scientists and technicians working in science and science-related organisations must have a good
understanding of core science concepts. A strong grasp of these concepts will enable you to use and
apply this knowledge and understanding in vocational contexts when studying other units within
this specification.
The topic areas covered in this unit include: animal and plant cells; tissues; atomic structure and
bonding; chemical and physical properties of substances related to their uses; waves and their
application in communications.
Scientists and technicians working in the chemical industry need to have an understanding of
atoms and electronic structure. This allows them to predict how chemical substances will react in
the production of a wide range of products – anything from fertilisers in the farming industry to
fragrances in the perfume industry. Metals play an important role in the construction industry,
in providing the structure to buildings, as well as in electrical wiring and the production of
decorative features. So understanding the chemical and physical properties of metals is
essential when selecting appropriate building materials.
Medical professionals need to understand the structure and workings of cells. They build on this
knowledge to understand how the body stays healthy as well as the symptoms and causes of some
diseases. This allows them to diagnose and treat illnesses. The study of bacterial prokaryotic cells
gives an understanding of how some other diseases are caused and can be treated.
Scientists and technicians in the food industry also need to understand the structure and function
of plant cells to enable them to develop food crops that produce greater yields.
Knowledge of waves is essential in a wide range of industries and organisations. In the
communication industry, scientists and technicians apply their knowledge of the electromagnetic
spectrum when designing mobile phone and satellite communication, and fibre optics are used to
transmit telephone and television signals. Fibre optics are also used in diagnostic tools in medicine.
In this unit you will draw on your learning from across your programme to complete assessment
tasks. The knowledge and understanding you will learn in this unit will provide a strong basis for
you to progress in the science sector and to a variety of science and related programmes such as
higher nationals and degrees.
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
Summary of assessment
This unit will be assessed through a written exam worth 90 marks, which is set and marked by
Pearson. The exam will last one hour and 30 minutes.
The paper is split into three sections, each worth 30 marks:
• Section A – Biology
• Section B – Chemistry
• Section C – Physics.
The paper will include a range of question types, including multiple choice, calculations, short
answer and open response. These question types will assess discrete knowledge and understanding
of the content in this unit.
The assessment availability is January and May/June each year. The first assessment availability is
May/June 2017.
Sample assessment materials will be available to help centres prepare learners for assessment.
Assessment outcomes
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge of scientific facts, terms, definitions and scientific formulae
Command words: give, label, name, state
Marks: ranges from 12 to 18 marks
AO2 Demonstrate understanding of scientific concepts, procedures, processes and techniques and
their application
Command words: calculate, compare, discuss, draw, explain, state, write
Marks: ranges from 39 to 45 marks
AO3 Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information to make judgements and reach
conclusions
Command words: calculate, comment, compare, complete, describe, discuss, explain, state
Marks: ranges from 18 to 24 marks
AO4 Make connections, use and integrate different scientific concepts, procedures, processes
or techniques
Command words: comment, compare, complete, discuss, explain
Marks: ranges from 9 to 12 marks
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Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
Essential content
The essential content is set out under content areas. Learners must cover all specified content
before the assessment.
A Periodicity and properties of elements
A1 Structure and bonding in applications in science
• Understand the electronic structure of atoms:
o electronic orbitals
o Aufbau principle
o Bohr theory.
• Understand ionic bonding:
o strong electrostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions
o effects ionic radius and ionic charge have on the strength of ionic bonding
o formation of ions in terms of electron loss or gain
o electronic configuration diagrams of cations and anions.
• Understand covalent bonding:
o strong electrostatic attraction between two nuclei and the shared pair(s) of electrons
between them
o dot and cross diagrams to show electrons in simple covalent molecules, including
those with multiple bonds and dative covalent (coordinate) bonds
o the relationship between bond lengths and bond strengths in covalent bonds
o tetrahedral basis of organic chemistry.
• Understand metallic bonding:
o de-localised electrons
o positive metal ions
o regular layer structure.
• Understand the following intermolecular forces:
o van der Waals
o dipole-dipole
o hydrogen bonding.
• Understand the following:
o balanced equations
o relative atomic mass
o atomic number and relative molecular mass
o moles, molar masses and molarities.
• Understand the quantities used in chemical reactions:
o mass, volume of solution, concentration
o reacting quantities
o percentage yields.
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
A2 Production and uses of substances in relation to properties
• Understand the periodic table:
o Periods 1, 2, 3 and 4
o groups – s block, p block, d block
o layout of periodic table in relation to s, p, d notation
o electronic arrangement of elements using s, p, d notation.
• Understand the physical properties of elements:
o first ionisation energy
o reasons for trends in ionisation energy across Periods 2–4 and down
groups 1, 2 and 7
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
electron affinity
atomic radius
ionic radius
electronegativity
type of bonding in the element
trends – melting point and boiling point
physical properties of metals – electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity,
malleability, ductility.
• Understand the chemical properties of elements:
o products and reactivity of all Period 2 and 3 elements with oxygen
o products and reactivity of metals with oxygen, water, dilute hydrochloric acid and
dilute sulfuric acid
o
o
o
o
o
o
position of metals in the reactivity series in relation to position in the periodic table
oxidation
reduction
variable oxidation states of transition metal ions
displacement reactions of metals/halogens
uses and applications of substances produced within this learning aim.
B Structure and functions of cells and tissues
B1 Cell structure and function
• Know that cell theory is a unifying concept stating that cells are a fundamental unit of structure,
function and organisation in all living organisms.
• Understand the ultrastructure and function of organelles in the following cells:
o prokaryote cells (bacterial cell) – nucleoid, plasmids, 70S ribosomes, capsule,
cell wall
o eukaryotic cells (plant and animal cells) – plasma membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus,
nucleolus, endoplasmic reticulum (smooth and rough), Golgi apparatus, vesicles,
lysosomes, 80S ribosomes, mitochondria, centriole
o eukaryotic cells (plant-cell specific) – cell wall, chloroplasts, vacuole, tonoplast,
amyloplasts, plasmodesmata, pits.
• Recognise cell organelles from electron micrographs and the use of light microscopes.
• Understand the similarities and differences between plant and animal cell structure and function.
• Understand how to distinguish between gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial cell walls and
why each type reacts differently to some antibiotics.
• Calculate magnification and size of cells and organelles from drawings or images.
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
B2 Cell specialisation
Understand cell specialisation in terms of structure and function, to include:
•
•
•
•
•
palisade mesophyll cells in a leaf
sperm and egg cells in reproduction
root hair cells in plants
white blood cells
red blood cells.
B3 Tissue structure and function
• Understand the structure and function of epithelial tissue, to include:
o squamous as illustrated by the role of alveolar epithelium in gas exchange to include
the effect of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in smokers
o columnar as illustrated by goblet cells and ciliated cells in the lungs to include their
role in protecting lungs from pathogens.
• Understand the structure and function of endothelial tissue, as illustrated by blood vessels in the
cardiovascular system, including the risk factors that damage endothelial cells and affect the
development of atherosclerosis.
• Understand the structure and function of muscular tissue, to include:
o the microscopic structure of a skeletal muscle fibre
o structural and physiological differences between fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibres
and their relevance in sport.
• Understand the structure and function of nervous tissue, to include:
o non-myelinated and myelinated neurones
o the conduction of a nerve impulse (action potential) along an axon, including changes
in membrane permeability to sodium and potassium ions and the role of the
myelination in saltatory conduction
o interpretation of graphical displays of a nerve impulse and electroencephalogram
(ECG) recordings
o synaptic structure and the role of neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine
o how imbalances in certain, naturally occurring brain chemicals can contribute to ill
health, including dopamine in Parkinson’s disease and serotonin in depression
o the effects of drugs on synaptic transmission, including the use of L-Dopa in the
treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
C Waves in communication
C1 Working with waves
• Understand the features common to all waves and use the following terms as applied to waves:
o periodic time
o speed
o wavelength
o frequency
o amplitude
o oscillation.
• Graphical representation of wave features.
• Understand the difference between the two main types of wave:
o transverse
o longitudinal.
• Understand concepts of displacement, coherence, path difference, phase difference,
superposition as applied to diffraction gratings.
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
• Understand the industrial application of diffraction gratings, to include:
o emission spectra
o identifying gases.
• Be able to use the wave equation:
v= f λ
• Understand the concept and applications of stationary waves resonance.
• Musical instruments.
• Be able to use the equation:
calculation of speed
v=
T
µ
C2 Waves in communication
• Understand the principles of fibre optics:
o refractive index
n=
c sin i
=
v sin r
o total internal reflection
o calculation of critical angles at a glass–air interface:
sin c =
1
n
• Understand the applications of fibre optics in medicine to include endoscopes.
• Understand the applications of fibre optics in communication, to include:
o analogue and digital signals: analogue-to-digital conversion, broadband.
C3 Use of electromagnetic waves in communication
• Understand that all electromagnetic waves travel with the same speed in a vacuum.
• Be able to use the inverse square law in relation to the intensity of a wave:
I=
k
r2
• Understand how the regions of the electromagnetic spectrum are grouped according to
the frequency.
• Understand how the applications of electromagnetic waves in communications are related
to frequency, including:
o satellite communication
o
o
o
o
24
mobile phones
Bluetooth®
infrared
Wi-Fi.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
Grade descriptors
To achieve a grade learners are expected to demonstrate these attributes across the essential
content of the unit. The principle of best fit will apply in awarding grades.
Level 3 Pass
Learners will be able to recall, select and apply scientific knowledge and understanding to
vocational and realistic situations. They will be able to use scientific terminology and concepts in
given situations, and to use given information and apply appropriate mathematical and technical
skills in context. Learners will be able to interpret and analyse information in order to make valid
judgements.
Level 3 Distinction
Learners will be able to integrate relevant scientific knowledge and understanding from different
areas to demonstrate a deeper understanding of how these apply to vocational and realistic
situations. They will be able to use scientific terminology and concepts, communicating consistently
and effectively in given situations. They will be able to select relevant information and apply
appropriate mathematical and technical skills to justify decisions or solve problems in context.
Learners will be able to interpret and analyse information in order to make valid judgements
that are supported by evidence, with awareness of limitations.
Key terms typically used in assessment
The following table shows the key terms that will be used consistently by Pearson in our
assessments to ensure learners are rewarded for demonstrating the necessary skills.
Please note: the list below will not necessarily be used in every paper/session and is provided for
guidance only. Only a single command word will be used per item.
Command or term
Definition
Add/label
Learners label or add to a stimulus material given in the question,
for example labelling a diagram or adding units to a table.
Assess
Learners give careful consideration to all the factors or events that
apply and identify which are the most important or relevant. Make
a judgement on the importance of something and come to a
conclusion where needed.
Calculate
Learners obtain a numerical answer, showing relevant working.
If the answer has a unit, this must be included.
Comment on
Learners synthesise a number of variables from data/ information
to form a judgement. More than two factors need to be
synthesised.
Compare
Learners look for the similarities and differences of two (or more)
things. Should not require the drawing of a conclusion. Answer
must relate to both (or all) things mentioned in the question. The
answer must include at least one similarity and one difference.
Complete
Learners complete a table/diagram.
Criticise
Learners inspect a set of data, an experimental plan or a scientific
statement and consider the elements. Look at the merits and/or
faults of the information presented and back up judgements made.
Deduce
Learners draw/reach conclusion(s) from the information provided.
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
Command or term
Definition
Derive
Learners combine two or more equations or principles to develop a
new equation.
Describe
Learners give an account of something. Statements in the response
need to be developed as they are often linked but do not need to
include a justification or reason.
Determine
Learners’ answers must have an element that is quantitative from
the stimulus provided, or must show how the answer can be
reached quantitatively. To gain maximum marks there must
be a quantitative element to the answer.
Devise
Learners plan or invent a procedure from existing principles/ideas.
Discuss
Learners identify the issue/situation/problem/argument that is
being assessed in the question. Explore all aspects of an
issue/situation/problem/argument.
Investigate the issue/situation, etc. by reasoning or argument.
Draw
Learners produce a diagram, either using a ruler or using freehand.
Evaluate
Learners review information then bring it together to form a
conclusion, drawing on evidence, including strengths, weaknesses,
alternative actions, relevant data or information. Come to a
supported judgement of a subject’s qualities and relation to
its context.
Explain
Learners’ explanations require a justification/ exemplification of a
point. The answer must contain some element of
reasoning/justification – this can include mathematical
explanations.
Give/state/name
These generally require recall of one or more pieces of information.
Give a reason why
When a statement has been made and the requirement is only to
give the reasons why.
Identify
Usually requires some key information to be selected from a given
stimulus/resource.
Plot
Learners produce a graph by marking points accurately on a grid
from data that is provided and then drawing a line of best fit
through these points. A suitable scale and appropriately labelled
axes must be included if these are not provided in the question.
Predict
Learners give an expected result.
Show that
Learners prove that a numerical figure is as stated in the question.
The answer must be to at least one more significant figure than the
numerical figure in the question.
Sketch
Learners produce a freehand drawing. For a graph this would need
a line and labelled axes with important features indicated. The axes
are not scaled.
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
Command or term
Definition
State and justify/identify
and justify
When a selection is made and a justification has to be given for the
selection.
State what is meant by
When the meaning of a term is expected but there are different
ways in which this meaning can be described.
Write
When the question asks for an equation.
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UNIT 1: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF SCIENCE I
Links to other units
This unit, alongside Unit 5: Principles and Applications of Science II, covers some of the core
science concepts in biology, chemistry and physics.
This unit also links to a wide range of optional units available across the qualification.
Employer involvement
Centres may involve employers in the delivery of this unit if there are local opportunities. There is
no specific guidance related to this unit.
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and
Techniques
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 90
Unit in brief
Learners will be introduced to quantitative laboratory techniques, calibration, chromatography,
calorimetry and laboratory safety, which are relevant to the chemical and life science industries.
Unit introduction
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 thin-layer
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.
While you develop your practical competence, the discussion and analysis of group results will allow
you to understand your progress in relation to that of others and also to gain an understanding of
the reliability, repeatability and reproducibility of various procedures and techniques. You will have
the opportunity to use problem-solving skills when you undertake calorimetry work. There is scope
throughout the unit to reflect on the skills you have gained and how you may develop further. .
The fundamental knowledge, practical skills, transferable skills – for example, organisation,
self-assessment and problem-solving, and the ability to interpret data – all developed in this unit
will give you confidence when you undertake the more complex practical techniques involved in
higher education science courses such as biochemistry, chemistry, forensic science and
environmental science.
The experience you gain will be invaluable when you begin your career as a trainee laboratory
technician in industries such as contract analysis, oil, biopharmaceuticals, water treatment, and
polymers. Employers in these industries will appreciate your ability to follow written scientific
procedures and your desire to ensure accuracy by using techniques correctly and by checking that
equipment – for example, pipettes, balances, pH meters and thermometers – is calibrated correctly
and that appropriate standard calibration documentation has been completed.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Undertake titration and colorimetry to determine the concentration of solutions
B Undertake calorimetry to study cooling curves
C Undertake chromatographic techniques to identify components in mixtures
D Review personal development of scientific skills for laboratory work.
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended assessment
approach
A
A1 Laboratory
Pro formas of results for checking the
calibration of a pipette and balance(s)
and calibration of a pH meter.
A2 Preparation and
A report on the use of Na2CO3 to
standardise HCl, used in turn to
standardise NaOH. pH curve from the
titration plus a differential plot.
A3 Colorimetry
Results, calculations and calibration graph
for the determination of the concentration
of a coloured solution using colorimetry.
Undertake titration
and colorimetry to
determine the
concentration of
solutions
equipment and its
calibration
standardisation of
solutions using
titration
Explanations of how the accuracy,
precision and safety of the quantitative
techniques may be optimised.
Observation checklist, completed
by the teacher, including safety.
B
Undertake calorimetry
to study cooling
curves
B1 Thermometers
B2 Cooling curves
Results from checking the calibration of
at least two types of thermometer.
A table of time/temperature data and
a graph of temperature against time for
a substance cooling.
Calculations of the rate of cooling at points
on the graph.
An analysis of how the rate of cooling
is related to intermolecular forces and
the state of the substance.
A report evaluating the accuracy of
the cooling curve experiment.
An observation report with a checklist,
completed by the teacher, including safety.
C
Undertake
chromatographic
techniques to identify
components in
mixtures
C1 Chromatographic
techniques
C2 Application of
chromatography
C3 Interpretation of a
chromatogram
Results from the paper chromatography
and TLC of extracted plant pigments from
paper chromatography of amino acids.
An explanation of the principles behind
the chromatographic separations.
Suggestions for improvements to the
chromatographic procedures carried out
and full justification of these suggestions.
An observation report with a checklist,
completed by the teacher, including safety.
D
Review personal
development of
scientific skills for
laboratory work
D1 Personal
responsibility
D2 Interpersonal skills
D3 Professional
practice
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A presentation or report that focuses
on the evaluation of learners’ performance
and skill development across all scientific
procedures and techniques carried out
in learning aims A, B and C.
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Content
Learning aim A: Undertake titration and colorimetry to determine the
concentration of solutions
A1 Laboratory equipment and its calibration
Equipment and glassware used in titration and colorimetry and the importance and processes
involved in calibration of measuring equipment.
• Use of pH meters and probes:
o calibration according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Use of balances and weighing:
o electronic balances – rough balances (two decimal places), analytical balances
(four decimal places)
o
o
o
o
checking calibration with certified weights
measurement of mass using increasingly accurate balances
suitable containers for weighing liquids and solids
density of water at different temperatures.
• Safe use of volumetric glassware:
o bulb, graduated, automated and teat pipettes
o burettes
o glass and plastic filter funnels
o volumetric flasks
o accurate dilution
o use of water as a standard for calibrating volumetric glassware.
A2 Preparation and standardisation of solutions using titration
Processes involved in the preparation and standardisation of solutions using titration.
• Accurate determination of the end-point of titrations from:
o the colour change of a suitable indicator
o plots of pH versus volume
o ∆pH/∆volume versus volume.
• Calculation of concentrations:
o use of molecular mass from periodic table.
• Use of primary and secondary titrimetric standards.
A3 Colorimetry
Understanding and practical application of colorimetry techniques.
• Selection and use of a colorimeter or visible spectrometer – selection of filter (colorimeter)
or fixed wavelength (spectrometer).
• Measurement and use of absorbance readings.
• Use of Beer-Lambert law to determine the concentration of a transition metal ion solution.
• Accurate dilution of stock solutions to prepare a range of calibration standards with absorbance
in the range 0 to 1.
• Use of blank solutions.
• Calibration plot.
• Determination of unknown solution concentration from reading from graph (graph paper)
or from the equation of a linear trend line through the origin (Microsoft Excel).
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Learning aim B: Undertake calorimetry to study cooling curves
B1 Thermometers
Types of thermometer, appropriate use and practical application of measurements of heat.
• The relationship between temperature and heat energy.
• Types of thermometer and how they are used to gain accurate readings:
o electronic thermometers/temperature probes
o liquid-filled thermometers.
• Checking the calibration of thermometers by using ice and boiling water.
• Accuracy of thermometers and temperature probes at different temperatures.
B2 Cooling curves
Construction and interpretation of cooling curves:
•
•
•
•
•
temperature as a function of time
rate of cooling from the gradient of the tangent to the cooling curve
determination of melting point from the shape of a curve for a substance freezing
super cooling
shape of the curve and rate of cooling in relation to intermolecular forces and the state
(solid or liquid) of the substance.
Learning aim C: Undertake chromatographic techniques to identify components
in mixtures
C1 Chromatographic techniques
Theory, equipment and procedures used in chromatography.
• Terminology:
o mobile and stationary phases
o adsorption.
• Principles of paper chromatography.
• Principles of thin-layer chromatography (TLC):
o nature of a TLC plate – glass, metal or plastic sheet with solid adsorbent layer.
• Use of capillary tubes to apply mixtures to paper or TLC plates.
• Choice of developing solvent and vessel.
• Preparative methods for samples:
o solvent extraction
o filtration
o concentration by evaporation.
• The use of locating agents.
C2 Application of chromatography
• Separation of components of a mixture, to include plant pigments extracted from leaves/herbs
with propanone (paper chromatography and TLC).
• Identification of unknown mixtures and pure substances using chromatography, to include
amino acids (paper chromatography).
• Awareness of other types of chromatography – e.g. gas chromatography, ion-exchange
chromatography – and that procedures and chromatogram interpretations are very different.
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
C3 Interpretation of a chromatogram
• Polarity of molecules/intermolecular forces in relation to solubility in the mobile phase.
• Polarity of molecules/intermolecular forces in relation to retention of molecules in the
stationary phase.
• Size of molecules in relation to solubility and mobility.
• Calculation of Rf value.
• Interpretation of chromatograms in terms of the number of substances present and the Rf values
of components.
• Awareness of common problems in technique resulting in difficulty interpreting a chromatogram,
e.g. overloading samples, disturbing plate/paper during development or contamination of
plate/paper.
Learning aim D: Review personal development of scientific skills for laboratory
work
D1 Personal responsibility
Understanding of the personal responsibilities that must be accepted for successful work in science.
•
•
•
•
Work to appropriate standards and protocols.
Application of safe working practices.
Accept responsibility for the quality of own work.
Take responsibility for completing tasks and procedures as well as using judgements within
defined parameters.
D2 Interpersonal skills
Understanding and development of skills for effective and efficient working with others:
• communication and co-operation in the scientific working environment
• give and receive constructive feedback
• behaviour for safe and efficient working in science.
D3 Professional practice
Understanding and personal development of standard practices applicable to working as a
professional scientist:
• recognise problems and apply appropriate scientific methods to identify causes and
achieve solutions
• identify, organise and use resources effectively to complete tasks
• maintain and enhance competence.
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Undertake titration and colorimetry to
determine the concentration of solutions
A.P1 Correctly prepare and
standardise solutions for
titration and colorimetry.
A.P2 Investigate the
concentration of unknown
solutions, using procedures
and techniques in titration
and colorimetry.
A.M1 Demonstrate skilful
application of procedures
and techniques in titration
and colorimetry to
accurately determine the
concentration of solutions.
A.D1 Evaluate the accuracy
of procedures and
techniques used
in titration and
colorimetry in relation to
outcomes and suggest
improvements.
Learning aim B: Undertake calorimetry to study cooling
curves
B.P3 Correctly obtain data using
different equipment to
construct cooling curves.
B.P4 Correctly determine the
rate of cooling of
substances using
cooling curves.
B.M2 Analyse the rate of cooling
of substances from your
data using cooling curves
to draw valid conclusions.
B.D2 Evaluate the accuracy
of practical work in
calorimetry in relation
to the analysis of the
cooling curve.
Learning aim C: Undertake chromatographic techniques
to identify components in mixtures
C.P5 Correctly use
chromatographic
techniques to produce
chromatograms.
C.P6 Explain the use of
chromatographic
techniques to separate
mixtures.
C.M3 Analyse own
chromatograms and relate
the factors that affect the
separation of mixtures to
the quality of results
obtained.
C.D3 Evaluate the
chromatographic
techniques used in
relation to outcomes and
suggest improvements.
Learning aim D: Review personal development of
scientific skills for laboratory work
D.P7 Summarise key personal
competencies developed in
relation to scientific skills
undertaken.
34
D.M4 Analyse skills
developed and suggest
improvements to
own practice.
D.D4 Evaluate scientific skills
developed in terms of
potential for future
progression.
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of four summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.P2, A.M1, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P3, B.P4, B.M2, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P5, C.P6, C.M3, C.D3)
Learning aim: D (D.P7, D.M4, D.D4)
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to:
•
•
•
•
a well-equipped laboratory with a fume cupboard
accurate balances
a range of volumetric glassware
pH meters, thermometers and temperature probes (access to data-logging software is useful but
not essential)
• colorimeter or visible spectrometer
• chromatography paper, TLC slides
• a range of suitable chemicals, dependent on specific practical work that centres choose to utilise.
Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will interpret outcomes of their quantitative analytical
procedures and techniques to make sound judgements on the accuracy of them. They will place
the accuracy of their results in the context of those obtained by other learners in a meaningful and
quantitative way. Learners will be able to coherently discuss problems/issues with the quantitative
procedures and techniques used and develop a strong rationale for suggestions made to improve
accuracy and precision in order to obtain reliable and valid outcomes (or for justifying the
appropriate steps already taken should no problems be identified).
Learners will provide sound discussion of inherent hazards and risks associated with the analytical
techniques and procedures, for example justifying why certain aspects are carried out in a
particular way on safety grounds.
For merit standard, learners will undertake quantitative analytical procedures and techniques
with minimal supervision, and perform to a high degree of accuracy and precision in order to obtain
reliable and valid outcomes, with consideration for health and safety. Learners will demonstrate
skill and fluency in a number of areas, such as: calibrating pipettes transferring solids, measuring
volumes, mixing solutions, carrying out titrations and making the dilutions for colorimetry
standards. They will be fully prepared in terms of equipment, reference material and consumables
before attempting each step.
For pass standard, learners will follow instructions to safely undertake titration and colorimetry,
although they may need to refer frequently to the instructions. These must be performed correctly
to obtain reliable and valid outcomes. Learners will correctly carry out calculations of concentration.
For titration, learners will check the calibration of equipment used to ensure the validity of
outcomes obtained (for example the calibration of a pipette, balances and a pH meter using buffer
solutions). It is expected that learners will be assessed making a solution by weighing a solid,
making the solution to volume and shaking to ensure that it mixes thoroughly. They could use
a primary standard acid/base in a titration to standardise sodium hydroxide/hydrochloric acid
prepared by the learner. Learners must also safely and correctly calibrate and use a colorimeter
or visible spectrometer to determine the concentration of a coloured solution.
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners will interpret outcomes of their calorimetry to make sound
judgements on accuracy. Learners will be able to use appropriate mathematical terminology
(for example rapid increase, decrease, approximately constant, etc.) to describe the patterns
and trends in the shapes of cooling curves. They will be able to use the cooling curve of a substance
to evaluate how close their values for the melting points are to literature and to class values,
explaining where specific errors or problems with the given method or equipment may have led to
inaccuracy. Learners could, for example, discuss the way in which the substance was cooled and
the resulting changes to the curve. Learners will explain why it may be necessary to make changes
to procedures in order to reduce levels of uncertainty.
For merit standard, learners will demonstrate selection of an appropriate amount of solid;
selection of a suitable vessel for heating the solid, setting up the equipment to enable heating and
cooling of the vessel in an appropriate way and monitoring temperature as a function of time in a
safe way.
Learners will demonstrate numerical skills in graph plotting when constructing their cooling curve.
These must include selecting the most appropriate scale, using appropriate labels including units,
and drawing a smooth, best-fit curve through the points. By drawing tangents at appropriate points
and finding their gradients, learners will correctly determine the rate of cooling near the start,
end and where the rate appears to have changed dramatically in between. They will draw valid
conclusions linking the rate of cooling to what is happening at a molecular level in terms of the
positions and velocity of molecules and the forces between them. They will be able to explain
which part of the graph corresponds to, for example, the melting point (freezing temperature).
For pass standard, learners will safely check the calibration of a given thermometer, following
instructions. This could be done by using ice and boiling water. Learners will also explore the
accuracy of the temperature measurements obtained from thermometers and other equipment by
comparing their readings in water that is being heated. Learners will use a table of their own design
for recording their readings. Learners will demonstrate key practical competencies in calorimetry,
including being able to set up a vessel containing a solid, heating it to above its melting point,
cooling it and measuring its temperature as a function of time, following a standard procedure.
Learners will plot graphs for a substance undergoing freezing. Learners might not select the most
appropriate scale but will label axes correctly and draw a smooth curve through the points. They
will accurately determine the rate of cooling near the start, demonstrating the ability to draw a
tangent to the curve and find its gradient.
Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners will articulate strong links between outcomes and
techniques used in order to give a rationale for specific improvements that could be made to the
chromatographic techniques. They will articulate what would happen if a particular change were to
be made. They will demonstrate awareness that some chromatograms may show the spots rising
at an angle or have spots that are too big or smeared out rather than being distinct.
For merit standard, learners will demonstrate safe working practices and a high level of
proficiency when carrying out paper- and thin-layer chromatography (TLC) with minimal
supervision. They will produce chromatograms showing clear separation of spots, repeating the
separations if they are not satisfied with the quality of the separation obtained. Learners will also
comment on the suitability of the techniques for separation.
Learners will use appropriately calculated Rf values and consider factors that influence separation
to justify conclusions drawn about the identification of components in a mixture (for example the
polarity of the components of the mixtures and the polarity of the solvents and effect of the size
of a molecule on its mobility).
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UNIT 2: PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND TECHNIQUES
For pass standard, learners will follow instructions, demonstrating safe working practices and a
good level of ability when carrying out paper and TLC. Learners will comment on the suitability of
the techniques for separation and the chromatogram produced for each technique (TLC and paper
chromatography). At this standard, the chromatograms may not produce spots showing an
optimum degree of separation (for example the spots may be too large and lacking in distinction).
They will determine Rf values using paper chromatograms, using these to correctly identify
components in a mixture.
Learning aim D
For distinction standard, learners will draw upon all areas of practical work carried out to
critically reflect on strengths and weaknesses of their own performance and skill development
drawing on feedback, for example from peers, teachers and industry. Drawing on others’ feedback
is crucial for developing balanced progression goals.
For merit standard, learners will need to make judgements on their skill development and level in
relation to their peer group. They will need to recognise the improvements that need to be made
and how they will take steps to achieve them.
For pass standard, learners will identify areas of scientific skills developed in relation to the
learning aims. They should draw on scientific skills they have previously acquired and use them to
illustrate the transferability and development of skills.
Links to other units
This unit links to:
•
•
•
•
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills
Unit 4: Laboratory Techniques and their Application
Unit 19: Practical Chemical Analysis.
This unit also links to a wide range of optional units available across the qualification.
Employer involvement
Centres may involve employers in the delivery of this unit if there are local opportunities. It would
be beneficial for an industry representative to explain the importance of the routine calibration of
equipment in ensuring the reliability of results. A visit to a local laboratory would reinforce the
importance of calibration of equipment and health and safety. Even if the local organisations that
use science only operate on a small scale, their representatives will be able to reinforce the
importance of the transferable skills this unit develops.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills
Level: 3
Unit type: External
Guided learning hours: 120
Unit in brief
Learners will cover the stages involved and the skills needed in planning a scientific investigation:
how to record, interpret, draw scientific conclusions and evaluate.
Unit introduction
Advancement in science and technology has produced great benefits for society. This advancement
depends on research and investigative approaches in science and technology. In research,
development, analytical and industrial laboratories, laboratory technicians and scientists are
employed to safely carry out practical investigations, or follow prescribed laboratory procedures.
They repeat measurements to obtain consistent, reliable results. They use investigative skills,
including planning, recording and interpreting data, analysing and evaluating findings in order to
test a hypothesis to inform further research and development.
In this unit, you will develop the essential skills underpinning practical scientific investigations.
As well as drawing on Unit 1 and Unit 2, these skills will be delivered through subject themes
ranging from enzymes and diffusion to electrical circuits. The subject themes provide different
contexts for the development of the investigative skills. In this unit you will draw on your learning
from across your programme to complete assessment tasks.
Science investigative skills will help you in many scientific or enquiry-based learning courses in
higher education, as well as prepare you for employment in a science-related industry.
Summary of assessment
This unit will be assessed through a written task (Part B) worth 60 marks. The task is set and
marked by Pearson and will be completed in one sitting, within a supervised assessment session
timetabled by Pearson.
The assessment task will assess learners’ ability to plan, record, process, analyse and evaluate
scientific findings, using primary and secondary information/data.
In order to complete the written task in Part B, learners will need to obtain results/observations
from the practical investigation in Part A. Pearson will release teacher/technician notes and
guidance to centres to enable sufficient time for resources and trialling of the practical
investigation.
Part A will be released by Pearson 8 days before the supervised assessment session for Part B.
Part A allows learners to complete the practical investigation and obtain results required for Part B
in one session lasting one hour and 30 minutes, under supervised conditions.
Part B is taken in a single session immediately as timetabled by Pearson.
It is important to note that learners will not be assessed on their practical competence in this
external assessment.
The assessment availability is in January and May/June. The first assessment availability is
May/June 2017.
Sample assessment materials will be available to help centres prepare learners for the assessment.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
Assessment outcomes
AO1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts, procedures, processes
and techniques and their application in a practical investigative context
AO2 Interpret and analyse qualitative and quantitative scientific information to make reasoned
judgements and draw conclusions based on evidence in a practical investigative context
AO3 Evaluate practical investigative procedures used and their effect on the qualitative
and quantitative scientific information obtained to make reasoned judgements
AO4 Be able to make connections between different scientific concepts, procedures, processes
and techniques to make a hypothesis and write a plan for a practical investigation
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
Essential content
The essential content is set out under content areas. Learners must cover all specified content
before the assessment.
A Planning a scientific investigation
A1 Developing a hypothesis for an investigation
• Be able to formulate a hypothesis or a null hypothesis based on relevant scientific ideas.
A2 Selection of appropriate equipment, techniques and standard procedures
• Be able to select and justify the use of equipment/techniques/standard procedures for
quantitative and/or qualitative investigations.
A3 Health and safety associated with the investigation
• Understand risks and hazards associated with the investigation.
A4 Variables in the investigation
• Independent.
• Dependent.
• Control.
A5 Method for data collection and analysis
• Be able to produce a clear, logically ordered method to obtain results.
• Be able to select relevant measurements and the range of measurements to be recorded.
• Understand the importance of obtaining data accurately/reliably and to appropriate levels
of precision.
• Understand how variables can be controlled/measured/monitored.
• Understand how the data/information can be analysed.
B Data collection, processing and analysis/interpretation
B1 Collection of quantitative/qualitative data
• Be able to collect data accurately/reliably and to appropriate levels of precision.
• Be able to tabulate data in a clear and logical format using correct headings with units
where appropriate.
• Be able to identify anomalous data and take appropriate action.
• Be able to recognise when it is appropriate to take repeats.
• Be able to make qualitative observations and draw inferences.
B2 Processing data
• Be able to carry out relevant calculations where appropriate, involving:
o mean and standard deviation
o use and interpretation of error bars
o use of statistical tests, including t-test, chi-squared and correlation analysis
o use of formulae
o transposition of formulae
o conversion of units
o use of standard form
o percentage error of measuring equipment.
• Be able to display data in an appropriate format, including:
o choosing an appropriate graph/chart/tables
o correct plotting/labelling/scales.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
C Drawing conclusions and evaluation
C1 Interpretation/analysis of data
• Be able to identify trends/patterns in data.
• Be able to compare primary and secondary data.
• Be able to use data to draw conclusions that are valid and relevant to the purpose of the
investigation.
• Interpretation of statistical tests using tables of critical values and a 5% significance level,
with reference to the null hypothesis.
C2 Evaluation
•
•
•
•
•
Be able to make any recommendations for improvements to the investigation.
Be able to explain anomalous data.
Be able to determine quantitative and discuss qualitative sources of error.
Be able to discuss evidence of the reliability of the data collected during the investigation.
Be able to identify strengths and weaknesses within method/techniques/standard
procedures/equipment used.
• Be able to suggest improvements to an investigation.
D Enzymes in action
D1 Protein structure
• Peptide linkage.
• Active sites.
• Denaturation.
D2 Enzymes as biological catalysts in chemical reactions
•
•
•
•
•
Collision theory.
Formation of enzyme-substrate complex.
Specificity of enzymes brought about by the need for matching of substrate and active site.
Lowering of activation energy.
Changing substrate concentration changes the rate at which substrate molecules will join
active sites.
• Importance of measuring initial rates of reaction.
D3 Factors that can affect enzyme activity
• Temperature.
• pH.
• Substrate and enzyme concentration.
E Diffusion of molecules
E1 Factors affecting the rate of diffusion
•
•
•
•
•
Concentration gradient.
Shape and size of molecules.
Temperature.
Distance.
Surface area.
E2 Arrangement and movement of molecules
• Random movement of molecules in liquids and gases.
• Diffusion takes place along a concentration gradient until dynamic equilibrium is reached.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
F Plants and their environment
F1 Factors that can affect plant growth and/or distribution
•
•
•
•
•
•
Human effects – trampling.
Soil pH and aeration.
Light intensity – shaded and unshaded areas.
Temperature.
Presence of water – moisture and rainfall.
Mineral ions.
F2 Sampling techniques
• Understand the importance of random sampling in collecting reliable and valid data for analysis.
• Select appropriate ecological sampling techniques to investigate the effect of abiotic factors on
plant populations, including:
o transects
o quadrats (open and gridded)
o point frames.
F3 Sampling sizes
• Select sample sizes for investigation with regards to practical constraints and the need to collect
sufficient data to make valid conclusions.
G Energy content of fuels
G1 Fuels
• Petrol, paraffin, food, cooking oil, methanol, ethanol, propan-1-ol, butan-1-ol,
pentan-1-ol, wax temperature.
G2 Hazards associated with fuels
•
•
•
•
•
Flammability.
Toxicity.
Risk of explosion.
Harmful effects of products of incomplete combustion.
Pollution from sulphur impurities.
G3 Units of energy
• Define – joules, kJ, calories (1 g by 1 oC), kilocalories, kWh.
• The heat capacity of water will be given if required.
• Calculate heat energy supplied by a fuel to water using:
o heat energy = mass of water × specific heat capacity of water × temperature rise of
water.
• Calculate heat energy released from a fuel in kJ mol-1.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
H Electrical circuits
H1 Use of electrical symbols to design circuits
•
•
•
•
•
•
Battery.
Ammeter.
Voltmeter.
Bulbs.
Resistors.
Diodes.
H2 Equations
• Power = VI (voltage × current).
• Power =
work done
time
• Work done = energy supplied or transformed.
H3 Energy usage
• Consider different domestic appliances to calculate energy usage and relate fuse size to power.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
Grade descriptors
To achieve a grade a learner is expected to demonstrate these attributes across the essential
content of the unit. The principle of best fit will apply in awarding grades.
Level 3 Pass
Learners will demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts, procedures,
processes and techniques and their application within a practical context. Learners will interpret and
analyse their own data and secondary data, leading to reasoned judgements on the qualitative and
quantitative data they have collected during their investigation. They will be able to draw links
between different scientific concepts, procedures, processes and techniques to make a hypothesis
and plan an investigation. Learners will be able to make evaluative judgements on scientific data,
processes and procedures that make reference to scientific reasoning.
Level 3 Distinction
Learners will demonstrate a thorough understanding of how scientific concepts, procedures,
processes and techniques can be integrated and applied within a practical context. They will
interpret, analyse and evaluate their own collected data and secondary data to support judgements
and conclusions drawn. Learners will use and integrate knowledge and understanding of scientific
concepts, procedures, processes and techniques to make a hypothesis and plan an investigation
that is fully supported by scientific reasoning. Learners will be able to provide rationalised
evaluative judgements on scientific data, processes and procedures that are fully supported
by scientific reasoning.
Key terms typically used in assessment
The following table shows the key terms that will be used consistently by Pearson in our
assessments to ensure students are rewarded for demonstrating the necessary skills.
Please note: the list below will not necessarily be used in every paper/session and is provided for
guidance only.
Only a single command word will be used per item.
Command or term
Definition
Add/label
Learners label or add to a stimulus material given in the question,
for example labelling a diagram or adding units to a table.
Assess
Learners give careful consideration to all the factors or events
that apply and identify which are the most important or relevant.
Make a judgement on the importance of something, and come
to a conclusion where needed.
Calculate
Learners obtain a numerical answer, showing relevant working.
If the answer has a unit, this must be included.
Comment on
Learners synthesise a number of variables from data/information to
form a judgement. More than two factors need to be synthesised.
Compare
Learners look for the similarities and differences of two (or more)
things. Should not require the drawing of a conclusion. Answer
must relate to both (or all) things mentioned in the question.
The answer must include at least one similarity and one difference.
Complete
Learners complete a table/diagram.
Convert
Relates to unit conversion, for example g to kg.
Deduce
Learners draw/reach conclusion(s) from the information provided.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
Command or term
Definition
Derive
Learners combine two or more equations or principles to develop
a new equation.
Describe
Learners give an account of something. Statements in the response
need to be developed as they are often linked but do not need to
include a justification or reason.
Determine
Learners’ answers must have an element which is quantitative
from the stimulus provided, or must show how the answer can
be reached quantitatively. To gain maximum marks there must
be a quantitative element to the answer.
Discuss
Learners identify the issue/situation/problem/argument that
is being assessed in the question.
Explore all aspects of an issue/situation/problem argument.
Investigate the issue/situation etc. by reasoning or argument.
Draw
Learners produce a diagram, either using a ruler or using freehand.
Estimate
Learners give a numerical value expected based on data given.
Evaluate
Learners review information then bring it together to form a
conclusion, drawing on evidence including strengths, weaknesses,
alternative actions, relevant data or information. Come to a
supported judgement of a subject’s qualities and relation to its
context.
Explain
Learners’ explanations require a justification/exemplification
of a point. The answer must contain some element of
reasoning/justification, this can include mathematical explanations.
Give/state/name
These generally require recall of one or more pieces of information.
Give a reason why
When a statement has been made and the requirement is only
to give the reasons why.
Identify
Usually requires some key information to be selected from a given
stimulus/resource.
Plot
Learners produce a graph by marking points accurately on a grid
from data that is provided and then drawing a line of best fit
through these points. A suitable scale and appropriately labelled
axes must be included if these are not provided in the question.
Predict
Learners give an expected result.
Record
Specifically relates to devising a results table.
Show that
Learners prove that a numerical figure is as stated in the question.
The answer must be to at least one more significant figure than
the numerical figure in the question.
Sketch
Learners produce a freehand drawing. For a graph this would need
a line and labelled axis with important features indicated. The axes
are not scaled.
State and justify/identify
and justify
When a selection is made and a justification has to be given for the
selection.
State what is meant by
When the meaning of a term is expected but there are different
ways in which this meaning can be described.
Write
When the question asks for an equation.
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UNIT 3: SCIENCE INVESTIGATION SKILLS
Links to other units
This unit links to:
• Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
• Unit 4: Laboratory Techniques and their Application
• Unit 6: Investigative Project.
This unit also links to a wide range of optional units available across the qualification.
Employer involvement
Centres may involve employers in the delivery of this unit if there are local opportunities. There is
no specific guidance related to this unit.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
Learners will focus on the physiological make up of three human body systems (musculoskeletal,
lymphatic and digestive), how the systems function and what occurs during dysfunction.
Unit introduction
The human body is a complex mix of organs and organ systems. Knowledge of how they function
to maintain human life is an essential part of the study of human physiology. In this unit, you will
focus on three body systems: musculoskeletal, lymphatic and digestive. You will examine each
of the systems as a functioning unit, identifying their structure and function. By exploring the
anatomy of these systems, through experimentation and use of simulations, you will develop
your knowledge and understanding of their role in the human body.
You will also give attention to understanding the implications of what happens when the systems
fail to work properly and the available treatments. The unit will be of particular interest if you are
interested in sport, body-building and maintaining a healthy body.
An understanding of the fundamental systems that make up the human body is a key requirement
if you wish to progress to study health and care-related programmes or biomedical sciences in
further education and at university. It is an essential requirement for a career in sport- and
health-related disciplines, for example physiotherapist, sport trainer and exercise physiologist.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Understand the impact of disorders of the musculoskeletal system and their
associated corrective treatments
B Understand the impact of disorders on the physiology of the lymphatic system and
the associated corrective treatments
C Explore the physiology of the digestive system and the use of corrective treatments
for dietary-related diseases.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended
assessment approach
A
A1 Structure of the
Learners would use
information gained from
research, visits,
dissections/videos, models
and simulations to produce an
illustrated report explaining
and analysing the structure
and function of the
musculoskeletal system.
Understand the impact of
disorders of the
musculoskeletal system
and their associated
corrective treatments
musculoskeletal system
A2 Function of the
musculoskeletal system
A3 Health matters and
treatments related to the
musculoskeletal system
An evaluation of a related
disorder/dysfunction of the
system and associated
treatments must be included.
B
Understand the impact of
disorders on the
physiology of the
lymphatic system and the
associated corrective
treatments
B1 Structure of the lymphatic
system
B2 Function of the lymphatic
system
B3 Health matters and
treatments related to the
lymphatic system
Research work using the
internet and TV documentaries
to help learners to create a
presentation that describes
and explains the structure
and function of the lymphatic
system in promoting a healthy
body.
An evaluative case study of the
effect of a disorder/dysfunction
of the system and possible
treatments must be included.
C
Explore the physiology of
the digestive system and
the use of corrective
treatments for
dietary-related diseases
C1 Structure of the digestive
system
C2 Function of the digestive
system
C3 Health matters and
treatments related to the
digestive system
A lab book/record of
investigations modelling the
functioning of the various parts
of the digestive system.
Photographs and information
from the investigations will be
used to create an information
leaflet that explains the role
and location of organs and
evaluates dietary disorder in
the system and possible
treatments.
Observation records of
practical work undertaken to
assess the nutrient content of
food will be required. Evidence
and conclusions from the
investigations will be
incorporated into the
information leaflet.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Content
Learning aim A: Understand the impact of disorders of the musculoskeletal
system and their associated corrective treatments
A1 Structure of the musculoskeletal system
Structure and identification of major bones, muscles, joints and supporting apparatus by visual
examination of diagrams or models and manipulative means in living subjects as appropriate.
• Axial skeleton, to include:
o cranium, mandible and maxilla
o vertebral column (cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, sacrum and coccyx,
intervertebral discs)
o ribs and sternum.
• Appendicular skeleton, to include:
o limb bones (humerus, radius, ulna; femur, patella, tibia, fibula)
o wrist, hand and digit bones (carpals, metacarpals, phalanges)
o ankle, foot and digit bones (tarsals, metatarsals, phalanges, calcaneus)
o shoulder girdle (scapula, clavicle)
o pelvic girdle (ilium, pubis, ischium).
• Bone types: long bones, short bones, flat bones, irregular bones, sesamoid bones.
• Bone composition: periosteum, spongy/compact bone, bone marrow, mineral use.
• Identification of the major joint types and where they exist in the human body – gliding,
condyloid, saddle, socket, ball and socket, pivot, hinge.
•
•
•
•
Classification of joints: fibrous, cartilaginous, synovial.
Composition and location of ligaments and tendons.
Major muscle groups.
Structure of muscle fibres.
A2 Function of the musculoskeletal system
Functions of each part of the musculoskeletal system and how each contributes to the effective
functioning of the whole system.
• Skeletal functions: support, protection, attachment for skeletal muscle, storing minerals,
producing blood cells, maintaining mineral homeostasis.
• Muscle: the role of ligaments, tendons, skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, process of muscle
contraction, fast- and slow-twitch fibres.
• Movement due to interaction of muscles, bones, joints and attachment apparatus:
flexion/extension, adduction/abduction, internal/external, rotation, circumduction.
A3 Health matters and treatments related to the musculoskeletal system
The causes, symptoms and common treatments involved in common disorders or dysfunction
in the musculoskeletal system.
• Disorders to include: forms of arthritis; hip dysplasia; hypermobility; bone fracture and
dislocation; repetitive strain injury (RSI); muscle, ligament and tendon trauma.
• Treatments for musculoskeletal disorders (including physiological reasoning behind the
treatment), to include: physiotherapy; arthroscopy; joint replacement therapy; rest, ice,
compression, elevation (RICE); splinting and casting.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Learning aim B: Understand the impact of disorders on the physiology of the
lymphatic system and the associated corrective treatments
B1 Structure of the lymphatic system
Composition and location of component parts:
• spleen, thymus gland, tonsils, lymph glands, lymph vessels
• major lymph nodes – axillary, abdominal, inguinal, popliteal, supratrochlear
• presence of valves.
B2 Function of the lymphatic system
Location, processes, structures involved and importance of each function:
•
•
•
•
formation and transport of lymphocytes and lymph
removal of interstitial fluid from tissues
maintenance of hydrostatic pressure
absorption of fats from the digestive system.
B3 Health matters and treatments related to the lymphatic system
Symptoms, treatment and physiological reasoning behind treatment for disruption or dysfunction of
the lymphatic system, to include:
• lymphadenitis
• lymphedema
• Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Learning aim C: Explore the physiology of the digestive system and the use of
corrective treatments for dietary-related diseases
C1 Structure of the digestive system
Location and structural features of the following parts of the digestive system and associated
organs:
• mouth, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum),
large intestine, rectum, anus
• associated organs: pancreas, liver, gall bladder.
C2 Function of the digestive system
• Processes involved in digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients:
o mechanical and chemical digestion
o action of enzymes (protease, amylase, lipase, hydrolysis and assimilation)
o sites of nutrient absorption, active transport, diffusion.
• Chemical tests for the presence of macro-nutrients found in foods: starch, proteins, lipids,
reducing and non-reducing sugars, vitamin C content.
C3 Health matters and treatments related to the digestive system
• Dietary sources and importance of macronutrients and micronutrients including symptoms of
deficiencies – fibre, lipids, protein, water, carbohydrates, vitamins (A, B, C, D) and minerals
(iron, magnesium and iodine).
• Digestive system diseases and physiological reasoning behind treatments, e.g. coeliac disease,
irritable bowel syndrome, colitis.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Understand the impact of disorders of
the musculoskeletal system and their associated
corrective treatments
A.P1 Explain the functional role
of the musculoskeletal
system in the human body.
A.P2 Describe the effect of
disorder of muscles and
joints and possible
corrective treatment(s).
A.M1 Compare how disorders of
the musculoskeletal
system can affect how
muscles bring about
movement of joints and
the role of corrective
treatment(s).
A.D1 Evaluate the effect of
corrective treatment(s)
associated with a
musculoskeletal disorder.
Learning aim B: Understand the impact of disorders on
the physiology of the lymphatic system and the
associated corrective treatments
B.P3 Describe the gross
anatomy and function of
the organs of the
lymphatic system.
B.P4 Describe the effect of a
disorder on the lymphatic
system and possible
corrective treatment(s).
B.M2 Explain the physiological
reasoning for corrective
treatment(s) associated
with a disorder of the
lymphatic system.
B.D2 Evaluate the effect of
corrective treatment(s)
for a disorder of the
lymphatic system.
Learning aim C: Explore the physiology of the digestive
system and the use of corrective treatments for dietary
related diseases
C.P5 Explain the role and
location of organs involved
in digestion.
C.P6 Correctly carry out
investigations to establish
sources and importance of
key nutrients for a
balanced diet.
C.M3 Analyse the role of
digestive enzymes on
nutrient uptake in each
part of the digestive
system.
C.M4 Explain the use of
corrective treatment(s) for
nutrient deficiency.
C.D3 Evaluate the effect of
dietary disease and
corrective treatment(s)
on human health.
C.P7 Describe the symptoms of
nutrient deficiency as a
result of dietary-related
disease.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of three summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.P2, A.M1, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P3, B.P4, B.M2, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P5, C.P6, C.P7, C.M3, C.M4, C.D3)
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to:
• a well-equipped laboratory
• IT resources, which could be used as a reference point.
Essential information for assessment decisions
It is expected that where possible, investigative work will be carried out in this unit. Health
and safety considerations are paramount, and teachers must ensure that the necessary risk
assessments are carried out and communicated to their learners. Refer to CLEAPSS and/or your
centre’s health and safety regulations if in doubt about any of the investigative work that has
been suggested.
It is understood that specific groups of learners or teachers for ethical, religious or other reasons
may feel that they are not able to undertake dissection work as part of the unit. If practical
dissection is not carried out, it is expected that suitable alternatives will be available. This is to
enable learners to fully understand the anatomy and physiology of the body systems studied in
the unit content. Alternatives to dissection could be documentaries of dissections/operations,
computer-generated simulations and model making.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will research disorders/dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal
system. Learners will reach conclusions based on referenced evidence they have produced
from research on the impact on health of one named disorder/dysfunction and its corrective
treatment(s). A visit from or to a physiotherapist would aid understanding and help create a
vocational context.
Learners will provide a detailed evaluation demonstrating in-depth, scientific knowledge of the
anatomy and physiology of the effects of the condition, including major bones, muscle (groups),
joints and movement at the joints. Learners will then establish how the disorder impacts the
normal functioning/movement in the human body.
Learners will evaluate how the work of the medical professional uses corrective mechanisms and
treatments in order to improve the functioning of the skeleton and its physical, physiological and
social impact on human health. Learners will also explain the limitation of the corrective
treatment(s) used.
For merit standard, learners must provide a detailed comparison of three disorders affecting
different aspects of the musculoskeletal system and how normal movement is affected. Learners
must use the correct scientific and technical terms to clearly outline the type of joint, muscle
movement at the joint, muscle attachment and the groups of muscles that are involved in bringing
about normal movement. They must also explain the importance of the movement to the normal
functioning of the human body and how each disorder differs in terms of its effect on normal
function. When comparing corrective treatments for each disorder, learners must consider scientific
rationale for using that particular treatment over others.
Access to dissection of a small mammal, chicken bones/joints, or models of skeletons and joints
and use of simulations would develop and aid learners’ understanding. The use of referenced
diagrams or photographs to help learners to produce an analytical report on muscles, joints and
associated movement should be encouraged. Correct use of scientific terms must be included in
the report.
For pass standard, learners will explain how the structure of the human skeleton, muscles
and joints form an essential system in the functioning of the human body by providing support,
protection, movement and storage/production of minerals and blood cells. Learners will identify
and name six major joints in the human musculoskeletal system and fully explain the importance
of their structure and role in the human body in terms of normal movement. Learners will name
one disorder of musculoskeletal system and outline how it impacts normal function of the human
body. Learners will reference specific muscles or muscle groups and joints affected by the disorder
and give an overview of the corrective treatment(s) associated with it.
Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners must base their evaluation on one named disorder. They will
analyse the effect of the disease on the lymphatic system, the normal functioning of which will be
explicitly explained. The implications of the disease on the health status of an individual suffering
from the disorder will be addressed within the context of a patient case study. Learners will
evaluate the physiological basis of any treatment and discuss the impact of this on the restoration
of normal lymphatic function. This will include benefits and problems faced by medical professionals
when using corrective treatments. They will use correct scientific terminology throughout.
For merit standard, learners will demonstrate detailed understanding of the anatomy and function
of the lymphatic system, using correct scientific terminology to explain the rationale for use of
corrective treatment for the effects of a named disorder of the lymphatic system. Learners will give
detailed explanations of the disorder affecting the normal functioning of the lymphatic system and
the associated corrective treatment.
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UNIT 8: PHYSIOLOGY OF HUMAN BODY SYSTEMS
For pass standard, learners must describe the gross anatomy of the organs and associated
structures that form the lymphatic system. Learners must label (for themselves) each structure of
the lymphatic system and describe, in brief, the role it plays in the system. Learners will describe
how lymph is formed and its role in the health of the body.
Learners will also briefly describe a named disorder and its effect on the normal function of the
lymphatic system, including the symptoms present in the human body and give an overview of the
corrective treatment(s) associated with the disorder.
Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners will research dietary-related disorders of the digestive system.
Learners must choose a named digestive system-related disease that affects the normal functioning
of the body. They must explain how the named disease affects the system using correct biological
terminology. Learners must also consider the effects on the person that is suffering from the
disease and how medical intervention seeks to treat the effects of disease. Evaluations must also
cover the implications to the health status of the individual and compare this with the healthy
functioning of the digestive system.
For merit standard, learners must analyse the mode of action of digestive enzymes as applied to
each of the macronutrients listed in the unit content. This will include named enzymes, the location
of enzyme secretion, the location of enzyme action (if different), substrates and products of each
nutrient broken down with enzymatic assistance. This will be linked to the analysis of nutrients in
foods.
Learners will need to consider how nutrient deficiency can be tackled in terms of corrective
treatments. They must explain the corrective treatment for the deficiency of two nutrients and
how they may relieve the symptoms described.
For pass standard, learners must perform analytical tests to identify the nutrients present
in dietary sources of macronutrients as listed in the unit content, they must also give detailed
descriptions of nutrient-deficiency symptoms. Learners must describe the gross anatomy of the
different areas of the digestive system as listed in the unit content. Learners should label each
of the areas of the digestive system and describe, in brief, the role of the component labelled.
Learners could use photographs from the dissection to label or complete a dissection.
This would help provide the context necessary to help generate the understanding required.
Links to other units
This unit links to:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
Unit 5: Principles and Applications of Science II
Unit 9: Human Regulation and Reproduction
Unit 10: Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
Unit 11: Genetics and Genetic Engineering
Unit 12: Diseases and Infections.
Employer involvement
University sports science departments may be able to provide support and guidance and access to
models of joints and a skeleton. Physiotherapy departments may be able to offer information and
access to examples of replacement joints and exercises that will assist in treatment and recovery
from musculoskeletal dysfunction.
GP Surgeries may have specialist nurses who might be available to visit and provide information
about management of digestive system disorders, such as coeliac disease, irritable bowel syndrome
and colitis.
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UNIT 9: HUMAN REGULATION AND REPRODUCTION
Unit 9: Human Regulation and Reproduction
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
This unit will give learners an understanding of how in the internal body environment is regulated
and controlled within set parameters to enable key bodily process to take place.
Unit introduction
The human body is a complex organisation of systems that each needs to be controlled within a
well-defined range of parameters. This unit will help your understanding of the key homeostatic
principles that help provide this stable body environment. There have been many advances in
human fertility in recent years, and there are opportunities to consider these and the hormonal
control of the reproductive system. Fertility treatments will also be considered.
You will investigate the interrelationship and nervous control of the cardiovascular and respiratory
systems, the homeostatic mechanisms in the body and the hormonal control of the reproductive
system.
Knowledge of the mechanisms by which the body regulates systems within narrow parameters is
an essential part of health and medical science-related occupations and other allied roles, including
sport science and fitness, clinical science and veterinary science. Progression to higher education to
study reproductive technologies or animal breeding leading to degree level is possible. It is equally
possible to gain access to science technician or apprenticeships career pathways.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Understand the interrelationship and nervous control of the cardiovascular and
respiratory systems
B Understand the homeostatic mechanisms used by the human body
C Understand the role of hormones in the regulation and control of the reproductive
system.
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UNIT 9: HUMAN REGULATION AND REPRODUCTION
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended
assessment approach
A
Understand the
interrelationship and
nervous control of the
cardiovascular and
respiratory systems
A1 Nervous system
A report looking at how the
organisation and function of
the human nervous system,
along with the importance of
coordinating the cardiovascular
and respiratory systems.
Understand the
homeostatic mechanisms
used by the human body
B1 Feedback and control
B
organisation
A2 Cardiovascular and
respiratory system
regulation and control
B2 Glands and organs
B3 Homeostatic mechanisms
B4 Impact of an imbalance
C
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Understand the role of
hormones in the regulation
and control of the
reproductive system
C1 Structure and function of
reproductive anatomy
C2 Reproductive processes
A presentation on the
mechanisms used to maintain
homeostasis and the
importance of normal
homeostatic function.
Learners put together a series
of informative leaflets on the
control of fertility.
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UNIT 9: HUMAN REGULATION AND REPRODUCTION
Content
Learning aim A: Understand the interrelationship and nervous control of the
cardiovascular and respiratory systems
Structure, function and processes involved in the nervous control of the cardiovascular and
respiratory systems.
A1 Nervous system organisation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Components of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Neuron and glial cells, to include a comparison of myelinated and unmyelinated neurons.
Transmission of action potentials and saltatory conduction, including interpretation of graphs.
Transmission at synapses, neuromuscular junctions and neuroglandular junctions.
Neurotransmitters.
Stimuli detection by receptor cells and sense organs.
Roles and regulation of the autonomic nervous system divisions (sympathetic and
parasympathetic), to include different neurotransmitters, e.g. acetylcholine and dopamine.
• Stages in and role of voluntary and non-voluntary reflexes and reactions, to include afferent
and efferent pathways and the role of interneurons.
• Neurological disorders, e.g. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis.
A2 Cardiovascular and respiratory system regulation and control
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
How changes in concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide come about.
Role of chemoreceptors and baroreceptors.
Gaseous exchange at tissues and alveoli.
Autonomic nervous system; sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways.
Role of medulla oblongata in coordination.
Elasticity of blood vessels related to function.
Control of heart rate – role and action of:
o sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes
o Bundle of His
o Purkinje fibres.
• Control of inspiration, expiration and rate of ventilation:
o changes in contraction and relaxation of diaphragm and intercostal muscles
o relative air pressure changes.
Learning aim B: Understand the homeostatic mechanisms used by the human
body
Processes, organs and hormones involved in maintaining the internal environment.
B1 Feedback and control
Positive and negative feedback loops, to include the part played by:
•
•
•
•
set point
receptors
coordinator(s)
effectors.
B2 Glands and organs
Location, nature and hormone secretion from:
• exocrine glands, e.g. sweat glands, Brunner’s glands
• endocrine glands, to include hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid and parathyroid
• endocrine and exocrine organs, e.g. pancreas, liver.
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UNIT 9: HUMAN REGULATION AND REPRODUCTION
B3 Homeostatic mechanisms
Stages involved in the regulation of:
• water (osmoregulation), to include roles of:
o antidiuretic hormone (ADH), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), angiotensinogen,
aldosterone
o hypothalamus, pituitary gland
o kidney nephron (endothelial cells)
o Cl-, Na+, K+ ions
• blood glucose, to include roles of:
o secretion of insulin and glucagon by beta and alpha cells in the Islets of Langerhans
o glycogen, glucose, glycogenesis, glycogenolysis, glucogenesis, gluconeogenesis
• temperature, to include roles of:
o vasodilation and vasoconstriction of arterioles leading to surface capillaries
o pili erector muscles
o sweat production
o shivering.
B4 Impact of an imbalance
• Conditions caused by an imbalance of a homeostatic mechanism, to include effects on
normal functioning and potential management strategies, e.g. dehydration, hyperglycaemia,
hypoglycaemia, diabetes, hypothermia, hyperthermia, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic
hormone (SIADH).
Learning aim C: Understand the role of hormones in the regulation and control
of the reproductive system
C1 Structure and function of reproductive anatomy
• Female reproductive system: ovary, fallopian tube (oviduct), uterus, uterine horn, fimbriae,
endometrium, cervix, vagina, labia.
• Male reproductive system: epididymis, seminal vesicle, Cowper’s gland, prostate gland, testes,
penis, scrotum, vas deferens, erectile tissue.
C2 Reproductive processes
• Stages in the following, to include the interactions of hormones (to include progesterone,
oestrogen, testosterone, FSH and LH as appropriate). Timescales for each should be referenced
and links made to effects on fertility.
• Gamete development and release; infertility causes and identification in these stages:
o oogenesis from oogonia; formation of primary, secondary and Graafian follicles;
ovulation; formation and role of corpus luteum
o normal/abnormal morphology of oocytes; ovulation disorders
o spermatogenesis from spermatogonia, formation of primary and secondary
spermatocytes and spermatids, spermiation, role of Sertoli and Leydig cells
o normal/abnormal morphology and abundance of sperm.
• Hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle.
• Processes leading to conception, how infertility can come about in these stages and potential
treatments for assisting fertility:
o wafting of ova through fallopian tubes, semen delivery, fertilisation (including role of
acrosome in penetration of the zona pellucida), implantation
o erectile dysfunction, antisperm antibodies, effects of menopause,
hypo/hyperthyroidism
o sperm donation, artificial insemination (AI); in vitro fertilisation (IVF); hormone
replacement therapy; induction of ovulation.
• Contraceptive methods: oral, injection and implanted use of hormones to prevent pregnancy.
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UNIT 9: HUMAN REGULATION AND REPRODUCTION
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Understand the interrelationship and
nervous control of the cardiovascular and respiratory
systems
A.P1 Describe the organisation
and function of the
nervous system in relation
to cardiovascular and
respiratory requirements.
A.M1 Explain how nervous
impulses are initiated,
transmitted and
coordinated in the control
of the cardiovascular and
respiratory systems.
A.D1 Assess the role of the
nervous system in
coordinating the
cardiovascular and
respiratory systems.
Learning aim B: Understand the homeostatic
mechanisms used by the human body
B.P2 Describe how homeostatic
mechanisms maintain
normal function.
B.M2 Explain the role of
hormones in homeostatic
mechanisms.
B.D2 Analyse the impact of
homeostatic dysfunction
on the human body.
Learning aim C: Understand the role of hormones in the
regulation and control of the reproductive system
C.P3 Describe the structure and
function of reproductive
anatomy.
C.P4 Describe how hormones
are involved in gamete
development and
conception.
C.M3 Explain how the regulation
of male and female
reproductive systems can
affect human reproductive
health.
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C.D3 Evaluate how conception
may be prevented and
promoted.
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UNIT 9: HUMAN REGULATION AND REPRODUCTION
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of three summative assignments for this unit and the relationship of
the learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.M1, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P2, B.M2, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P3, C.P4, C.M3, C.D3)
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UNIT 9: HUMAN REGULATION AND REPRODUCTION
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to a well-equipped laboratory.
For learning aim C, learners could assess the motility and morphology of porcine semen under a
microscope. This practical activity will help learners to engage with the material on the causes of
infertility in the male.
It would be an advantage for learners to use digital cameras to take photographs of their
experimental work. This will help them to engage with the material they produce and supplement
their reports.
Essential information for assessment decisions
It is assumed that, where possible, investigative work will be carried out in this unit. Health and
safety considerations are paramount. Teachers must ensure that the necessary risk assessments
are carried out and communicated to their learners. Refer to CLEAPSS and/or your own centre’s
health and safety regulations if in doubt about any of the investigative work that has been
suggested.
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will assess the nervous control of the cardiovascular and
respiratory systems in maintaining a constant body environment. Learners need to consider the
causes of changes, how they are detected internally and the interrelated stimulation of nervous
pathways that bring about corrective measures for normal function. They will do this with reference
to two neurological disorders affecting the central nervous or cardiovascular and respiratory
systems.
For merit standard, learners must explain the initiation and transmission of nervous impulses
in relation to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. They will use correct terminology
throughout with reference to voluntary and non-voluntary stimulation and control of the systems.
They will examine synaptic transmission in the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous
pathways. Learners must demonstrate an understanding of the importance of coordination of
the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, in relation to changes to carbon dioxide and oxygen
concentration in the blood.
For pass standard, learners will provide a clear identification of human nervous system
organisation and function, describing the basic structure of sensory and motor neurons and their
role in transmitting information for involuntary control of heart rate and ventilation. They will label
and use relevant diagrams to illustrate their work.
Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners will give a well-developed and detailed consideration of the
interrelation of homeostatic mechanisms and the potential effects each system has on the others.
They will examine a number of dysfunctions in each of the homeostatic mechanisms, explaining
their impact on human health, potential methods to correct the dysfunction and the homeostatic
consequences of these treatments.
For merit standard, learners must include a developed explanation of the role of hormones in
homeostatic mechanisms described in the unit content. There must be thorough consideration
of the secretion of different hormones and their mode of action on target organs, including the
responses of those organs. Learners will devise detailed, annotated feedback diagrams to illustrate
points made.
For pass standard, learners are to describe the body’s requirement to maintain a constant
internal environment (homeostasis) by both internal and external factors and how feedback
systems maintain this for the mechanisms described in the unit content. They will demonstrate an
awareness of the potential impact on human health when mechanisms fail to engage. Learners will
use terminology in the correct context.
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Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners must present a detailed account of the processes of gamete
development and conception. They will explain at least four different methods of hormonal control,
both in preventing conception taking place and in managing infertility. Learners must provide a
description of the method and the impact it has on the reproductive system of the male or female
in order to prevent or promote conception. They will show well-developed lines of reasoning and
use correct terminology with skill.
For merit standard, learners will give a coherent account of the normal regulation of the male
and female reproductive system, explaining how infertility can develop as result of physiological
or morphological changes. At least four examples of infertility relating to issues such as meiosis
during gametogenisis, obstruction of the male/female tubules, hormonal control of egg/sperm
development, hormonal regulation and control of endometrium and implantation, development of
zygote, erectile dysfunction and antisperm antibodies should all be researched and presented in
evidence submitted by the learner.
For pass standard, learners must identify the name, location and structure of each part of the
male and female reproductive anatomy, using diagrams they independently label. A description of
the function of each part will also be given.
Learners are required to describe the action of hormones that are released during the production
of sperm and ova and leading to conception. Learners are required to correctly annotate
diagrams/graphs of the menstrual cycle, gametogenesis and processes leading to conception.
Links to other units
This unit links to:
• Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
• Unit 5: Principles and Applications of Science II
• Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems.
Employer involvement
Centres may involve employers in the delivery of this unit if there are local opportunities.
An internet search may reveal a relatively local fertility clinic, which may be able to provide a
visiting speaker to provide information relating to reasons for infertility and possible treatment
options. Local gyms and universities or further education colleges may be able to accept visits from
learners to use monitoring equipment to measure the effects of exercise on the cardiovascular and
respiratory systems. An endocrinologist may be available from the local hospital to discuss with
learners the work they do and the importance of the endocrine system and effects of imbalance
within it.
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
Unit 10: Biological Molecules and Metabolic
Pathways
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
This unit covers biological molecules and the metabolic pathways involved in chemical reactions to
enable organisms to function normally.
Unit introduction
In this unit, you will study some of the chemical processes in living organisms. Biological molecules
and metabolic pathways play a crucial role both in society and in various industries, such as health,
chemical and environmental sciences. Examples of the importance of this field of study include
improvements in the efficiency of photosynthesis to increase crop yields, the bioremediation of
polluted soils, the development of new feed-stocks and the production of biofuels.
Water is a fundamental molecule involved in the biochemical processes that take place in living
organisms. Due to its unique structure and properties, the water molecule gives organisms the
ability to live and thrive in challenging conditions. The unit looks at the structure and functions
of water and other molecules, including carbohydrates, proteins and fats, involved in a variety
of biochemical systems and metabolic pathways. You will study the biochemical basis of systems
within the body, and look at respiratory systems in humans and photosynthetic systems in plants.
You will also investigate metabolic chemical pathways and understand how some substances can
affect the metabolic pathways in living organisms.
You will develop practical skills when investigating the effect of physical activity on respiration and
during your practical work on photosynthesis. This practical work, which will be assessed, is aimed
at developing your practical competences so you have skills required by employers.
Biological molecules and metabolic pathways are an area of science that overlaps and underpins
many other branches of science such as pharmacology, physiology, microbiology and clinical
chemistry. This unit will also support progression to higher education in biochemistry, biomedical
science and bioinformatics-related courses.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Understand the structure and function of biological molecules and their importance
in maintaining biochemical processes
B Explore the effect of activity on respiration in humans and factors that can affect
respiratory pathways
C Explore the factors that can affect the pathways and the rate of photosynthesis in
plants.
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended
assessment approach
A
A1 Water
A report or a visual display
with explanations, that
include:
Understand the structure
and function of biological
molecules and their
importance in maintaining
biochemical processes
A2 Carbohydrates
A3 Proteins and nucleic acids
A4 Lipids
A5 Disruption of biochemical
processes in living
organisms
• the molecular structure
of proteins and the basic
biochemical properties
they show
• links between molecular
structure, their properties
and role and importance in
the human body, including
the effect of disruption to
biochemical processes in
humans and plants.
B
Explore the effect of
activity on respiration in
humans and factors that
can affect respiratory
pathways
B1 Respiration
B2 Effect of activity on
respiration
B3 Effect of activity on
requirements for oxygen
and output of CO2
A portfolio of evidence to
include:
• practical work and results,
which can be recorded in lab
notebooks, signed off by the
teacher/observer
• record of analysis,
conclusions, evaluation and
any research work can be by
a written essay, diagrams,
flow charts.
C
Explore the factors that
can affect the pathways
and the rate of
photosynthesis in plants
C1 Pathways in photosynthesis
C2 Factors that can affect the
pathways in
photosynthesis
A portfolio of evidence, to
include:
• practical work and results,
which can be recorded in lab
notebooks, signed off by the
teacher/observer
• record of analysis,
conclusions, evaluation and
any research work can be by
a written essay, diagrams,
flow charts.
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
Content
Learning aim A: Understand the structure and function of biological molecules
and their importance in maintaining biochemical processes
A1 Water
• Structure:
o contains hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms
o structural and chemical formulae.
• Bonding:
o in water molecule (covalent bonding)
o between water molecules (hydrogen bonding).
• Importance:
o as a solvent
o medium for chemical reactions
o pH regulation
o electrolyte balance
o temperature regulator
o cohesion-tension in transpiration.
A2 Carbohydrates
• Structure and features:
o contain carbon (C), hydrogen and oxygen atoms
o monosaccharides, e.g. α and β glucose, galactose, fructose, ribose and deoxyribose
o disaccharides, e.g. lactose, maltose and sucrose
o polysaccharides, e.g. amylose, amylopectin, cellulose
o use of iodine and Benedicts’ solution as tests for presence of carbohydrates.
• Importance:
o energy production
o energy storage
o structural/building
o lipid metabolism
o prevention of protein breakdown for energy in animals.
A3 Proteins and nucleic acids
Structural features:
• proteins:
o primary structure, including peptide links to give polypeptides
o secondary structure, including α-helices and β-pleated sheets
o tertiary structure, to include ionic interaction, hydrogen bonding,
sulphur bridges and van der Waal’s forces
o quaternary structure, e.g. haemoglobin
o classification as globular or fibrous
o use of Biuret solution as a test for presence of protein
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
• nucleic acids:
o nucleotide structure (deoxyribose or ribose, phosphate and purine or pyrimidine
base)
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
polynucleotide structure with bonds made through condensation reactions
formation of the DNA double helix through complementary base pairing
importance of proteins and nucleic acids
enzymes that control metabolism
as neurotransmitters
antibodies
hormones
for transport of other components
body tissue growth and repair
muscle contraction in animals (actin and myosin interaction: detailed knowledge of
the sliding filament theory not required)
o blood clotting in animals
o role of nucleic acids in coding for genes and controlling gene expression.
A4 Lipids
Structure:
• carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in fats, oils and waxes
• saturated and unsaturated fats, and formation of diglycerides and triglycerides via
esterification reactions
• use of emulsion tests to identify presence of lipids
• importance of lipids in animals:
o energy sources
o insulation and organ protection in animals
o phospholipids in membranes
o production of vitamins.
A5
Disruption of biochemical processes in living organisms
The causes and effects of disruption to biochemical processes, to include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
porphyria
lactose intolerance
diabetes mellitus
cystic fibrosis
exposure to carcinogens
interference in plant growth regulators, e.g. delaying or promoting fruit ripening using the
effects of ethene and gibberellins; disruption of auxin transport; use of synthetic auxin.
Learning aim B: Explore the effect of activity on respiration in humans and
factors that can affect respiratory pathways
B1 Respiration
• Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as the universal energy currency.
• Stages and locations of aerobic and anaerobic respiratory pathways
• Glycolysis: conversion of monosaccharides to pyruvate; production of lactic acid
in anaerobic respiration and ethanol in yeast.
• Link reaction.
• Krebs cycle:
o conversion of molecules in the cycle from citric acid to oxaloacetate
o carbon dioxide (CO2) production.
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
• Electron transport chain in ATP production:
o reduction of coenzymes
o cytochrome system and ATP synthase
o importance of oxygen as final electron acceptor and nicotinamide adenine
dinucleotide (NAD) as hydrogen acceptor.
B2 Effect of activity on requirements for oxygen and output of CO2
• Recovery rates after exercise as measured by breathing rate.
• Short-term anaerobic respiration leading to oxygen debt.
• Effect of exercise on carbon dioxide output; potential damaging effects of excess CO2 and lactic
acid; bicarbonate buffering system of blood.
B3 Factors that can affect respiration
The causes and effects of the following on the ability of individuals to carry out processes leading to
efficient respiration.
• Cigarettes:
o inhalation of toxins
o tar
o nicotine.
• Drugs:
o ketamine
o cocaine interferes with how the brain processes chemicals.
• Pollutants:
o asbestos
o oxidants causing inflammation and metabolic damage to the cells.
• Disease, e.g. asthma.
Learning aim C: Explore the factors that can affect the pathways and the rate of
photosynthesis in plants
C1 Pathways in photosynthesis
• Light-dependent reaction:
o stages in and location of photophosphorylation, including role of coenzymes, and photolysis
o light energy converted to chemical energy held in ATP.
• Light-independent reaction:
o stages in and location of the Calvin cycle
o role of ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) and ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBisCO)
o production of glucose.
C2 Factors that can affect the pathways in photosynthesis
• Requirements for photosynthetic organisms, including sources and control of limiting factors,
e.g. light intensity, CO2 concentration, temperature, water.
• Role of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids) in absorbing different
wavelengths of light.
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Understand the structure and function of
biological molecules and their importance in maintaining
biochemical processes
A.P1 Explain the structure of
biological molecules in
living organisms.
A.M1 Explain the links between
the structure and function
of biological molecules and
their role in living
organisms.
A.D1 Evaluate the effects
of disruption of
biochemical processes
in living organisms.
Learning aim B: Explore the effect of activity on
respiration in humans and factors that can affect
respiratory pathways
B.P2 Explain the stages involved
in the human respiratory
pathway.
B.P3 Carry out an investigation
involving the effect of
activity on respiration in
humans.
B.M2 Analyse primary and
secondary data to explain
the effect of activity on
respiration.
B.M3 Explain the harmful effects
of factors on respiration.
B.D2 Evaluate the effects of
harmful substances on
the efficiency of
respiration.
B.P4 Describe factors that can
affect respiration.
Learning aim C: Explore the factors that can affect the
pathways and the rate of photosynthesis in plants
C.P5 Explain the stages involved
in photosynthesis in plants.
C.P6 Carry out an investigation
into a factor that affects
the rate of photosynthesis.
72
C.M4 Analyse primary and
secondary data to explain
the outcomes of an
investigation into a factor
that affects the rate of
photosynthesis.
C.D3 Evaluate the effect of
factors on photosynthetic
efficiency.
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of three summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.M1, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P2, B.P3, B.P4, B.M2, B.M3, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P5, C.P6, C.M4, C.D3)
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to a well-equipped laboratory in order to carry out practical
work to support learning. This unit is based on practicals, with research and tutorials backing up the
outcomes from practical work.
Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners must present a detailed evaluation of the effects caused by
disruption of biological molecules. This would include details of the structures of the biological
molecules related to their function and importance in the human body. This provides the basis
for analysing what happens if there is a disruption to the structure or function, leading to major
changes in normal biochemical processes. Learners will identify where these are intentionally
disrupted for human benefit. They will use scientific terminology with skill and with a lack of
fundamental errors.
For merit standard, learners must show their understanding of how the elements carbon (C),
hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) are the fundamental building blocks of biological molecules. Learners
will demonstrate understanding that different carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are formed from
the original elements of C, H, O. This must be extended to include how the addition of elements
such as nitrogen, phosphorus and sometimes sulphur changes the structure and properties of the
biological molecules. Using chemical diagrams, learners can show the CHO ratio in carbohydrates to
other molecules. They should explore side group structure and function found in proteins. They can
use diagrams to compare the structure of nucleic acids as a five-carbon sugar (pentose) with a
phosphate group and nitrogenous bases, and how RNA and DNA have different functions in the
body. Learners must give detailed explanations of how structure of biological molecules is linked
to function and the role in the human body. They will use scientific terminology accurately in
many cases.
For pass standard, learners must demonstrate their knowledge of the structure of biological
molecules in living organisms, for example learners must show how simple sugars combine to
form disaccharides and polysaccharides. They will show a similar understanding of other biological
molecules such as proteins and lipids. Learners will use relevant scientific terminology, although
there may be errors.
Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners must research factors (chemicals in cigarettes, drugs,
pollutants and disease) and how they affect metabolic pathways in terms of how efficiently aerobic
respiration can proceed. For example, the inhibitory effect of pesticides on enzyme reactions as
part of neural conduction or pollutant particles preventing normal respiratory function, could be
researched and evaluated. Learners will extend their analysis of primary and secondary data to
help in their evaluation and in drawing conclusions. They must cite references.
For merit standard, learners are expected to analyse and relate primary data from their
investigations into effects of activity on respiration to secondary data. This may have been
researched or be given to them by the teacher. They must use the analysis of primary and
secondary data to form valid and detailed conclusions about their investigation. Learners must
use the evidence obtained to link changes in respiration rates to the type of activity undertaken.
Learners are expected to explain how two named examples of factors, from the unit content,
can disrupt the respiratory pathways. For example, they could explain how oxidants inhaled as
the result of a polluted atmosphere can overload the body’s normal metabolism, causing
inflammation and cell damage.
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UNIT 10: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES AND METABOLIC PATHWAYS
For pass standard, learners must explain how the chemical stages in the human respiratory
pathways are related and significant in energy release. Learners will use scientific terminology
accurately in their explanations of the stages involved in respiratory pathways and demonstrate
a clear understanding of the importance of each stage.
Learners will demonstrate the ability to carry out investigative work relating to effect of activity
on respiration, in a competent and safe manner and in accordance to any health and safety
instructions. Outline methods can be given and must be adapted by the learner to allow valid
and authentic evidence to be generated. Anomalous results must be identified and, if possible,
explained. Learners should be encouraged to repeat practical work to help eliminate errors and
check the validity of results.
An observation sheet must be completed and submitted to validate the practical. It is good practice
to encourage learners to use a laboratory notebook, which should be checked regularly by the
teacher. This will help make learners aware of the importance of logbooks as a record of practical
work being carried out. They must give clear, objective accounts of how factors affect respiration.
These accounts could cover the breadth of the unit content in less detail, or cover three factors
each in greater detail.
Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners must demonstrate knowledge of optimum levels of the factors
affecting the rate of photosynthesis. They must consider alterations to levels of these factors and
the effect on photosynthetic efficiency, and the commercial importance and relevance of this. For
instance, they could consider a conclusion about the relevance, in terms of yield and production
costs, of increasing levels of light or carbon dioxide in a greenhouse. Learners will be expected to
use their understanding of the main stages in photosynthesis when drawing their conclusions from
the analysis of primary and secondary data.
For merit standard, learners must draw accurate conclusions from an investigation into factors
affecting the rate of photosynthesis and will refer to the stage in photosynthesis affected. It is
expected that light intensity, carbon dioxide levels or temperature will have been investigated.
In order to draw valid conclusions, learners must analyse their own data (primary) from their
investigation along with secondary data, which may have been researched or given to them by
the teacher. Learners will need to consider in their analysis of the data any difference between
their results and those from published material.
For pass standard, learners must describe the chemical stages in photosynthesis and give
clear details of the stages in photosynthesis. Accurate scientific terminology must be used in the
explanations of the importance of each stage of the process.
Learners can follow given methods to competently and safely carry out investigative work into
factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis. Different factors should be investigated by different
learners and results collated for analysis. Anomalous results should be identified and discussed, and
repeats carried out where possible. An observation record is required to validate the practical work
carried out. Use of laboratory logbooks by learners, monitored by teachers, should be encouraged.
Links to other units
This unit links to:
•
•
•
•
•
Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems
Unit 9: Human Regulation and Reproduction
Unit 11: Genetics and Genetic Engineering
Unit 20: Biomedical Science.
Employer involvement
Centres may involve employers in the delivery of this unit if there are local opportunities. There is
no specific guidance related to this unit.
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UNIT 11: GENETICS AND GENETIC ENGINEERING
Unit 11: Genetics and Genetic Engineering
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
Learners will study the basis of life itself. They will gain an understanding of the structure of DNA,
cell division and the principles of Mendelian genetics and variation.
Unit introduction
Massive advances in DNA technology over the last 30 years have driven genetics forward at an
extraordinary rate, creating enormous potential for future applications. This unit will allow you to
develop a deeper practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of genetics, and modern
genetic engineering techniques and their uses. This may be of particular interest to learners
wishing to follow a career in forensic science or research. There are often media reports of medical
advances, for instance, growing replacement body parts for transplantation, and advances in
treatments for life-threatening and debilitating diseases. There will be opportunities to follow up
some of these reports and to extend your knowledge and understanding of what might be possible
in the future.
You will investigate the mechanisms of cell division and carry out research to explain how the
behaviour of chromosomes during cell division relates to variation. There will be an opportunity to
demonstrate and expand your knowledge of genetics and variation, to include how genes control
the characteristics of living organisms by synthesising proteins using nucleic acids as a code. The
principles of Mendelian genetics will be used to outline and explain patterns of inheritance and how
this can influence variation and evolution. You will explore modern genetic techniques and their
uses and have the opportunity to extract and work with DNA.
This unit will provide a basis for progression in the fields of medical, veterinary science, agricultural,
industrial or forensic science. Multiple pathways for career development are available. These may
be through higher education courses, university, or by direct entry to these fields as science
technicians or on apprenticeship schemes.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Understand the structure and function of nucleic acids in order to describe gene
expression and the process of protein synthesis
B Explore how the process of cell division in eukaryotic cells contributes to genetic
variation
C Explore the principles of inheritance and their application in predicting genetic traits
D Explore basic DNA techniques and the use of genetic engineering technologies.
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UNIT 11: GENETICS AND GENETIC ENGINEERING
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended assessment
approach
A
A1 Nucleic acids
A portfolio of evidence to include:
A2 The basis of the genetic
• photographic evidence of DNA
Understand the
structure and function
of nucleic acids in order
to describe gene
expression and the
process of protein
synthesis
code
A3 Protein synthesis
models learners make
• a leaflet/report explaining the
structure of nucleic acids and how
they code for protein synthesis
• annotated diagrams of the stages
of protein synthesis, how and
where the stages occur and
analysis of the impact of possible
errors.
B
Explore how the process
of cell division in
eukaryotic cells
contributes to genetic
variation
B1 Human chromosome
A portfolio of evidence to include:
B2 Cell division and its role
• a leaflet on the structure and
B3 Practical demonstration
• an observation record of
in variation
of slide preparation of
dividing cells
function of human chromosomes
microscope slide preparation of
mitosis and meiosis
• annotated diagrams identifying
the stages in mitosis and meiosis
• a report explaining and evaluating
how the behaviour of the
chromosomes during meiosis
leads to variation.
C
Explore the principles of
inheritance and their
application in predicting
genetic traits
C1 Principles of classical
genetics
C2 Further genetics
A portfolio of evidence to include:
• an observation record to validate
the practical work carried out on
Drosophila
• statistical analysis of the patterns
of inheritance ratios from practical
work
• genetic diagrams and a report
using appropriate terminology to
predict and describe the results of
genetic crosses.
D
Explore basic DNA
techniques and the use
of genetic engineering
technologies
D1 DNA extraction
A portfolio of evidence to include:
D2 Gel electrophoresis
• a brief report on practical
D3 DNA amplification
D4 Transformation of cells
D5 Uses of genetic
engineering
techniques carried out and their
applications in industry and
medicine
• observation records to validate
the practical work
• a report on how restriction
enzymes and electrophoresis work
with an explanation of stem cell
therapies and their uses.
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Content
Learning aim A: Understand the structure and function of nucleic acids in order
to describe gene expression and the process of protein synthesis
A1 Nucleic acids
Nucleotide structure, function and location of the following:
• DNA, to include stages and enzymes involved in DNA replication
• RNA, to include mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, siRNA.
A2 The basis of the genetic code
Definitions of the following and their importance in gene expression:
•
•
•
•
•
triplet codes
codon
anticodon
degenerate code
non-overlapping.
A3 Protein synthesis
• Major stages involved in each stage (including location) and the effect of mutations on the end
products.
•
•
•
•
•
Transcription, to include introns, exons and splicing.
Amino acid activation.
Translation.
Mutagenic agents, e.g. irradiation, chemical mutagens.
Types of genetic mutations – missense, nonsense, silent, insertion, deletion, duplication,
frameshift.
Learning aim B: Explore how the process of cell division in eukaryotic cells
contributes to genetic variation
B1 Human chromosomes
The formation and structure of chromosomes, linked to their function:
•
•
•
•
•
•
centromere
chromatids
autosomes
sex chromosomes
chromosome number and karyotyping
homologous and non-homologous chromosomes.
B2 Cell division and its role in variation
• Stages of the cell cycle, to include cellular activities at each stage and the checkpoints involved
in progressing from one stage to the next. Learners should be able to identify the stage a cell is
in from given micrographs or specimens, describe the position of chromosomes and the events
that take place within each stage of cell division.
• The cell cycle: G1, S phase, G2, division cytokinesis.
• The stages of mitosis, to include the similarities and differences between mitosis in animal and
plant cells – interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.
• The stages of meiosis in the production of gametes:
o interphase, prophase I, metaphase I, anaphase I, telophase I, cytokinesis,
interkinesis, prophase II, metaphase II, anaphase II, telophase II, cytokinesis.
• The role of centrioles (microtubule-organising centre).
• Haploid, diploid.
• Sex determination.
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B3 Practical demonstration of slide preparation of dividing cells
• Equipment and techniques involved in the preparation of slides for examination using light
microscopy.
• Mitosis, e.g. root tip squash.
• Meiosis, e.g. lily anther squash.
Learning aim C: Explore the principles of inheritance and their application in
predicting genetic traits
C1 Principles of classical genetics
• Inheritance of straightforward phenotypic traits in animals and plants, their predicted proportions
and statistical analysis of phenotypic outcomes.
•
•
•
•
The differences and complexities involved in continuous and discontinuous variation.
Mendel’s laws of inheritance: segregation and independent assortment.
Practical investigation of mono and dihybrid phenotypic ratios.
Use of Punnett squares and other genetic diagrams, to include use of the terms allele, genotype,
phenotype, heterozygous, homozygous, carrier, affected/sufferer, non-affected/non-sufferer.
• Interpretation of Mendelian ratios from practical investigations.
• Chi-squared test.
C2 Further genetics
Description of genetic interaction, phenotypic traits and reasoned prediction of inheritance of
the following:
•
•
•
•
•
single gene disorders, e.g. Huntington’s disease, sickle cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis
incomplete dominance/blending, e.g. Tay Sachs disease and co-dominance, e.g. blood groups
sex linkage, e.g. colour blindness, haemophilia.
chromosome mutation, e.g. Down’s syndrome, Turner syndrome.
epistasis, e.g. albinism.
Learning aim D: Explore basic DNA techniques and the use of genetic
engineering technologies
Principles and practical application (where appropriate) of the techniques, equipment and
consumables in each of the following:
D1 DNA extraction
• Genomic and plasmid DNA extraction.
D2 Gel electrophoresis
• Use of restriction enzymes.
• Principles of electrophoresis.
D3 DNA amplification
• Polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
• Purpose of utilising PCR to amplify DNA:
o DNA fingerprinting
o cancer diagnosis
o tissue typing
o preimplantation genetic diagnosis/screening.
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D4 Transformation of cells
•
•
•
•
•
Use of vectors.
Plasmids.
Use of marker genes.
DNA ligase.
Screening to identify transformed cells.
D5 Uses of genetic engineering
•
•
•
•
•
•
Genetically modified (GM) crops.
Diagnostic tests and gene therapy.
Pharming.
Genetic screening including preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
Stem cell therapies, e.g. Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, spinal cord injuries.
Xenotransplantation.
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Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Understand the structure and function of
nucleic acids in order to describe gene expression and the
process of protein synthesis
A.P1 Explain the structure and
function of DNA and
various nucleic acids.
A.M1 Discuss the functional role
of nucleic acids in DNA in
the stages of protein
synthesis.
A.D1 Assess the impact of
error in the stages of
protein synthesis.
Learning aim B: Explore how the process of cell division
in eukaryotic cells contributes to genetic variation
B.P2 Prepare microscopic slides
to observe and draw the
stages of mitosis and
meiosis.
B.P3 Explain the structure
and function of human
chromosomes.
B.M2 Demonstrate skilful
preparation of microscopic
slides to observe and draw
the stages of mitosis and
meiosis.
B.M3 Discuss the behaviour of
the chromosomes during
the cell cycle stages of
mitosis and meiosis.
B.D2 Evaluate how the
behaviour of the
chromosomes leads
to variation.
Learning aim C: Explore the principles of inheritance and
their application in predicting genetic traits
C.P4 Carry out investigations to
collect and record data for
mono and dihybrid
phenotypic ratios.
C.P5 Explain genetic crosses
between non-affected,
affected and carriers of
genetic conditions.
C.M4 Analyse data to explain
the correlation between
observed pattern of
monohybrid and dihybrid
inheritance.
C.M5 Apply Mendel’s laws of
inheritance to the results
of genetic crosses.
C.D3 Make valid predictions on
patterns of monohybrid
and dihybrid inheritance
and variation using
principles of inheritance.
Learning aim D: Explore basic DNA techniques and the
use of genetic engineering technologies
D.P6 Extract, separate and
amplify DNA.
D.P7 Explain the use of genetic
engineering technologies in
industry and medicine.
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D.M6 Analyse the uses of
genetic engineering
technologies in industry
and medicine.
D.D4 Evaluate possible future
uses of genetic
engineering
technologies.
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UNIT 11: GENETICS AND GENETIC ENGINEERING
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of four summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.M1, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P2, B.P3, B.M2, B.M3, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P4, C.P5, C.M4, C.M5, C.D3)
Learning aim: D (D.P6, D.P7, D.M6, D.D4)
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UNIT 11: GENETICS AND GENETIC ENGINEERING
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to:
• a well-equipped laboratory
• commercially prepared materials/kits, which can be purchased to facilitate growing of Drosophila
and for extracting DNA, gel electrophoresis, cell transformation and polymerase chain reactions.
Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will demonstrate a thorough understanding of the structure
and function of DNA in relation to the stages of protein synthesis, with specific and accurate use of
scientific terminology. Learners will make relevant links between possible errors that may occur
during the different stages of protein synthesis, including transcription, translation and the cause
and effect of mutations in DNA. They must also give an analysis of the impact of these errors to the
end products of protein synthesis, which will be illustrated with examples.
For merit standard, learners will clearly use their knowledge of the genetic code to discuss the
functional role of nucleic acids in protein synthesis. Learners will discuss the locations of each stage
in protein synthesis and how the genetic code allows proteins to be synthesised with minimal errors
taking place.
For pass standard, learners must explain the structure and main features of each nucleic acid
listed in the unit content. Photographic evidence can be submitted and annotated if more
kinaesthetic assessment tools are used, such as model making.
Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners will use the information from their practical work and
discussion on meiosis and mitosis to evaluate the significance of chromosomal behaviour during cell
division. Arguments must be provided for and against the behaviour of independent assortment and
crossing over leading to variation within an organism.
For merit standard, learners will skilfully prepare three microscope slides of squash preparations
to show mitosis and meiosis, without guidance during assessment. They must use their slide
preparations to produce diagrams to identify a minimum of four stages of mitosis and four stages
of meiosis. The diagrams must demonstrate good practice – have a title, be drawn in pencil, have
clear outlines (not sketched), no heavy shading, indicate the field of view, magnification and scale.
Accurate labelling should be evident. Observation records will be required to validate the level of
expertise demonstrated by the learner. Learners will provide a detailed discussion demonstrating
an understanding of the behaviour of the chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis in each stage
of cell division. Supplementary evidence using prepared slides and photomicrographs, provided and
referenced by the learner, can be used to ensure all the required stages listed in the unit content
can be identified.
For pass standard, learners will correctly prepare three microscope slides to allow them to
observe, draw and label a minimum of four stages of mitosis and four stages of meiosis. Learners
will follow instructions to prepare the material and apply a stain/fixer, if appropriate, having had
an opportunity to practice the skills during teaching and learning. They should demonstrate good
technique in applying a cover slip to ensure exclusion of air.
Learners must handle the microscope safely, set it up independently and be able to manoeuvre the
slide(s) to obtain a field of view under different magnifications. Good technique includes the use of
a pencil and statement of the magnification used for the drawing(s) submitted. Photomicrographs
and diagrams sourced and referenced by the learners could be used to aid the explanation of the
structure of human chromosomes. Detailed statements are required which demonstrate
understanding of how/why the structure relates to the function of the chromosomes.
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Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners must demonstrate the ability to make valid predictions and
analyse the outcomes of examples of monohybrid and dihybrid crosses between non-affected,
affected and carriers of particular disorders and independent and linked genes. Learners must
provide evidence of one disorder for monohybrid and one for dihybrid. Learners will use both their
own data from investigations and use case studies to allow access to this criterion. Learners must
include an explanation of why the observed ratio for each example is not exactly as would be
expected.
For merit standard, learners will use the data from practical work they have carried out and
effectively apply the chi-squared test to analyse the correlation between the observed and expected
phenotypic results. An outcome from the statistical test is required, identifying if the ratios obtained
are statistically significant or due to chance. Learners must then apply and use Mendel’s laws of
independent assortment and segregation to analyse the results of the genetic crosses, and explicitly
state conclusions.
For pass standard, learners must follow instructions in a competent manner to obtain valid
and reliable data from an investigation into monohybrid and dihybrid inheritance. An individual
observation sheet will be required to validate their level of competency. Sufficient data to carry
out a chi-squared analysis must be collected. Results can be shared/collated between individuals/
groups of learners. Spreadsheets can be used. Use of simulations prior to starting the assignment
will provide a good basis for the learners to carry out their own practical work and statistical
analysis. Learners must produce their own write up to include the data from their investigations.
Competent completion of the task will be characterised by adherence to the instructions, a very
low error rate and the gaining of results close to that expected by the tutor in the context of the
investigation.
Learners must accurately construct genetic diagrams representative of genetic conditions and
explain the relationship between the genotypic and phenotypic ratios. The correct terminology will
be applied throughout. The evidence submitted does not have to be solely related to humans.
Learning aim D
For distinction standard, learners will research the strengths and weaknesses, advantages
and disadvantages of the genetic technologies explored in the relevant unit content. All sources
consulted will be accurately referenced. They must use the research to support their own views,
speculating in an informed manner about future uses of generic engineering technologies. They
must provide counterarguments of the reliability and validity of the use of the technologies.
For merit standard, learners will analyse the use of genetic technologies in relation to industry
and/or medicine. The analysis will take into account the reasons and science behind the
technologies, benefits to the relevant sector of industry or medicine, and include an appreciation
of efficacy and cost. This may be achieved effectively through the detailed examination of one
real-life example for each technology.
For pass standard, learners will need to provide a laboratory record of how they have
competently carried out three separate experiments: DNA extraction (chromosomes or plasmids),
PCR and gel electrophoresis. An observation record is required to validate the competency of
learners’ participation in practical work, characterised by methodical preparation and avoidance of
sample contamination. Learners will explain the genetic engineering technologies as listed in the
unit content in terms of their relevance to industry and medicine, in addition to the basic principles
behind how the technologies work.
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Links to other units
This unit links to:
•
•
•
•
•
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills
Unit 10: Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
Unit 12: Diseases and Infections
Unit 17: Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques.
Employer involvement
Centres could approach a local university to try to arrange visits for learners to allow them to view
commercial equipment used for extracting and carrying out genetic engineering techniques as well
as the more advanced techniques not possible in centres’ laboratories.
It may be possible to arrange visits from research scientists to give talks about their current
research projects. A visit to a crop research faculty or a visit from scientists or technicians working
there could enhance learner knowledge and understanding of the genetic research being
undertaken and possible future developments.
Agricultural and horticultural colleges may be able to accommodate visits form learners to see how
genetics has led to improved varieties of plants and animals.
A visit to an industrial state-of-the-art laboratory is recommended to help the learners appreciate
the sophistication of the modern-day high-tech laboratories compared with the basic equipment
available in many educational laboratories.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Unit 12: Diseases and Infection
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
Learners will gain understanding of five types of diseases, their causes and how humans try to
prevent and treat them.
Unit introduction
The prevention and treatment of disease and infection is a key part of the work health professionals
around the world. It is important to understand what disease is and the causes of diseases and
infections that affect humans. While non-infectious diseases caused by dietary, environmental,
genetic and degenerative factors will be briefly studied in this unit, the main focus will be on
causes of infectious diseases, and their transmission, prevention and treatment. There will be the
opportunity to research the different types of pathogens and diseases they cause. Disease and
infections can be caused by a wide range of pathogens and it is the knowledge of how these
pathogens interact with the environment and the human body that forms the study of disease,
which is also known as epidemiology.
You may know, or have had contact with, someone suffering from a genetic or degenerative
disease. This unit will give you the opportunity to better understand the causes of these diseases
and possible treatments.
You will gain an understanding of how the human body has natural defence mechanisms and
can establish its own immunity to infectious disease. You will consider the periodic outbreak of
infectious diseases and the problems associated with preventing their transmission and treating
those affected. With global travel easily accessible to many people, pandemics are a real possibility,
so you will investigate the role of organisations in preventing and treating infectious diseases.
The understanding and knowledge of factors that relate to disease, pathogens, their transmission
and management is an essential requirement for those wishing to pursue a health science
or bioscience related occupation. This could, for example, be in public health, microbiology,
international health, the pharmaceutical industry or the food sector. This unit will help provide
access to higher education to allow you to pursue these and related careers.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Investigate different types of diseases and infections that can affect humans
B Examine the transmission of infectious diseases and how this can be prevented
C Understand how infectious diseases can be treated and managed
D Understand how the human body responds to diseases and infections.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended
assessment approach
A
A1 Pathogens and infectious
Having researched a variety of
infectious and non-infectious
diseases, learners could
produce case studies relating
to their chosen diseases.
The case studies would detail
the cause and the effect the
disease can have on body
systems over time. The effect
on the quality of life of the
individual suffering from
the disease must also
be evaluated.
Investigate different types
of diseases and infections
that can affect humans
diseases
A2 Dietary and environmental
diseases
A3 Genetic and degenerative
diseases
A4 Progression of disease over
time
B
Examine the transmission
of infectious diseases and
how this can be prevented
B1 Methods by which
infectious diseases can be
spread
B2 Methods by which
infectious diseases can be
prevented from spreading
B3 Management of infectious
diseases
In addition to research work,
practical work and simulations
should be used to ensure that
learners are familiar with the
methods by which infectious
diseases can be transmitted.
Prevention of transmission
at a personal level and
by organisations must be
researched.
A report or information leaflet
can be produced as evidence.
C
D
88
Understand how infectious
diseases can be treated
and managed
C1 Methods of treatment
Understand how the
human body responds to
diseases and infections
D1 Defence mechanisms
C2 Access to and acceptance
of treatment
D2 Non-specific
D3 Specific
Research will need to be
undertaken on the different
methods of treating diseases.
The mode of action of the
treatments will need to be
analysed. The accessibility or
appropriateness of treatments
for some people will be
evaluated and reported.
Information leaflets detailing
and comparing the
components of the two defence
mechanisms and their mode
of action could be produced.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Content
Learning aim A: Investigate different types of diseases and infections that can
affect humans
A1 Pathogens and infectious diseases
• Pathogens – types and characteristics, life cycle and actions:
o bacteria: prokaryotic, rapid production, damage to cells, toxins
o parasites: require host, endoparasite, ectoparasite
o viruses: akaryotic, takes over host cell metabolism
o fungus; eukaryotic, ectoparasitic
o protozoa: eukaryotic, toxin release damages cells.
• Infectious diseases:
o pathogenic organisms invading the body: HIV, malaria, hepatitis, gonorrhoea, Ebola,
tuberculosis
o zoonotic (from animal to human): ringworm, tapeworm, rabies, avian flu H5N1, ticks,
mites, fleas.
A2 Dietary and environmental diseases
• Dietary:
o dietary deficiency or excess
o diabetes
o anaemia
o cardiovascular disease
o obesity
o liver disease.
• Environmental:
o pollutants, air (asbestos, smog), water (cholera)
o radiation – UV (skin cancer).
A3 Genetic and degenerative disease
• Genetic – inherited through DNA or DNA mutation, e.g. cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia,
Huntington’s disease:
o patterns of inheritance
o recessive alleles
o Punnett square
o mutation of DNA sequence.
• Degenerative – gradual decline in function, e.g. Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis.
A4 Progression of disease over time
• Asymptomatic.
• Latency of disease.
• Effect on ability to lead a normal life/work.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Learning aim B: Examine the transmission of infectious diseases and how this
can be prevented
B1 Methods by which infectious diseases can be spread
• Direct contact – transmission:
o human to human, body fluids
o animal to human, animal waste (droppings).
• Indirect contact:
o vectors – fleas, lice, ticks, mosquitoes
o transmission – surfaces, infected water droplets (sneezes, vapour from coughing)
o contamination – food or water, e.g. salmonella, typhoid.
B2 Methods by which infectious diseases can be prevented from spreading
• Prophylaxis:
o antibiotics
o antimalarial
o antiviral.
• Personal protective equipment (PPE):
o gloves
o biohazard suits.
• Behaviours:
o safe sex
o mosquito nets
o hand washing.
• Environmental:
o no open water sources
o use of chemical spray.
• Isolation/quarantine.
• Vaccination to prevent spread of disease:
o vaccination programmes
o types of vaccine (modified, attenuated, live antigens)
o specificity to pathogen
o stimulation of antibody production
o herd immunity.
B3 Management of infectious diseases
• Work of national and global organisations:
o World Health Organization (WHO)
o Médicins sans Frontiéres
o Oxfam
o NHS
o WaterAid.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Learning aim C: Understand how infectious diseases can be treated and
managed
C1 Methods of treatment
• Specific treatments for particular diseases.
• Antibiotics: disruption of reproductive process, disruption of energy process, cell wall/lysis,
specificity, resistance.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Antiviral, disruption of reproductive process.
Antiretroviral, disruption of entry to cell.
Antifungal, disruption of cell wall, disruption of reproductive process.
Antiprotozoal, disruption to DNA replication.
Antimalarial, disruption of lifecycle.
Anthelmintic, disruption to nervous system, disruption of uptake of glucose.
Rehydration therapy: use of salt, sugar, water to reverse effects of dehydration.
Immunoglobulins, antibodies to fight infection.
C2 Access to and acceptance of treatment
•
•
•
•
•
Social barriers, stigma associated with the disease.
Cultural beliefs, religious beliefs.
Treatment regime, duration – one-off, long-term treatment.
Accessibility of treatment, distance, cost.
Adverse reaction, contraindications.
Learning aim D: Understand how the human body responds to diseases and
infections
D1 Defence mechanisms
Categories:
• non-specific: immediate response; physical barrier, phagocytosis
• specific: slower response, specific to pathogen; cell mediated (T-lymphocytes),
humoral response (B-lymphocytes).
D2 Non-specific
• Physical barrier, e.g. skin, nasal hairs.
• Chemical barriers, e.g. mucus, stomach acid (HCl), tear duct secretions.
• Process of phagocytosis: phagocyte, role of histamine, lysosomes, lysozyme.
D3 Specific
Differentiate between cell-mediated and humoral response (lymphocytes, location of lymphocyte
development and maturation):
• cell-mediated response; response to invasion of non-self-material, T-lymphocytes action,
role of antigens, viruses
• humoral response; B-lymphocytes action, role of antibodies, role of antigens, memory cells,
secondary immune response, interaction with T-cells.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Investigate different types of diseases
and infections that can affect humans
A.P1 Explain the characteristics
of the five main types of
pathogens and a disease
caused by each.
A.M1 Assess the effect of a
named infectious and noninfectious disease on body
systems.
A.P2 Explain the causes of
non-infectious diseases
in humans.
Learning aim B: Examine the transmission of infectious
diseases and how this can be prevented
B.P3 Explain how infectious
diseases can be
transmitted.
B.M2 Assess how infectious
diseases can be prevented
from spreading.
Learning aim C: Understand how infectious diseases can
be treated and managed
C.P4 Describe the method
available to treat a type
of infectious disease.
C.M3 Analyse different
treatment methods to
combat disease process.
A.D1 Analyse how an
infectious and a
non-infectious disease
will progress over time,
and the effects this may
have on affected
individuals.
B.D2 Evaluate the role of
organisations in limiting
the spread of infectious
diseases.
C.D3 Evaluate why treatments
may not always
be accessible, or
appropriate, for
particular individuals.
Learning aim D: Understand how the human body
responds to diseases and infections
D.P5 Explain the components
of the specific and the
non-specific defences,
in protecting the body.
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D.M4 Compare the roles of the
specific and non-specific
defence mechanisms
in the human body.
D.D4 Evaluate the roles of
the cell-mediated and
humoral responses
to pathogens.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of four summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.P2, A.M1, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P3, B.M2, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P4, C.M3, C.D3)
Learning aim: D (D.P5, D.M4, D.D4)
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to:
• general biology reference material
• online media databases
• biology software packages or apps.
There are a number of different kits available from scientific supply companies that help learners to
understand how diseases are transmitted among humans. Prepared slides and micrographs can be
used to support understanding.
Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will choose a named infectious disease and analyse how
the pathogen, having entered the body, will cause infection, disruption and damage to the body
systems. Learners must also choose a non-infectious disease and analyse the effects of this on the
affected individual. Depending on the two diseases chosen, learners may need to include reference
to the fact that individuals may experience asymptomatic periods. They must methodically
examine the progress of the infection or diseases and relate this to the individual’s ability to
lead a normal life.
Learners could be encouraged to produce a case study for each of the diseases they have chosen.
They could adopt a holistic approach to the learning aim and use diseases they have already
studied. Alternatively for this criterion, different diseases could be selected and analysed.
For merit standard, learners will choose a named infectious disease, and the effects the pathogen
has on the various body systems must be considered in detail. They will highlight the most
important factors associated with damage caused to various body systems and draw conclusions
as to their importance in relation to the impact they have on the overall function of the body.
Similarly, learners must choose a non-infectious disease and assess how it affects the various body
systems and its overall impact on the body. For instance, learners may detail how the progressive
nature of a disease such as multiple sclerosis will result in damage to the nervous pathways over
time. The body systems affected will need to be identified and the impact of the effect to the
systems assessed. In the case of multiple sclerosis, learners should also assess the impact of
possible periods of remission. The diseases do not have to be chosen from the unit content.
For pass standard, learners will identify and explain the main features of the five main categories
of pathogens in the unit content. Learners will need to research and identify a named disease
caused by each pathogen. Learners will use their research material to explain the involvement of
the pathogens in causing the infectious diseases that have been identified. The characteristics and
life cycle of the pathogen for each of the five named diseases must be included in the evidence
presented for assessment.
Learners are required to research the causes of non-infectious diseases and select one disease from
each of the four categories in the unit content. Reasons as to how and why each named disease
has arisen must be given. It is expected that Punnett squares/genetic diagrams will be used
when learners are providing details for a genetic disease. However, these are unlikely to provide
sufficient detail without a commentary explaining what they show. The examples of infectious and
non-infectious diseases in the unit content do not have to be used. It is acceptable for learners to
choose their own examples based on their own interests or experiences, but not for all of the
learners to provide evidence for all the same diseases.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners will extend their knowledge, having explored how infectious
diseases are caused and transmitted, to include an understanding of how organisations are working
to limit the spread of infectious diseases. It is not expected that all methods listed in unit content
B2 will be covered at this level, as they are not all used for every disease. Learners will need to
evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, and advantages and disadvantages of the methods being
used and their significance in limiting the spread of disease(s).
Learners can meet the criterion by choosing a named disease and providing a case study on
organisations involved in preventing the spread of that disease. Alternatively, they can choose
an organisation and evaluate the methods adopted to help prevent the spread of diseases the
organisation is involved in. Examples of some suitable organisations are given in the unit content,
but learners are free to choose their own.
For merit standard, learners will assess the methods that can be used to prevent the
transmission and spread of infectious diseases. They should assess each method in relation to
specific examples of diseases in order to reach a conclusion about the effectiveness/relevance of
the method in preventing the disease. For example, with the use of prophylaxis for preventing
malaria, learners should consider the effectiveness of the method in relation to people
remembering to take it, cost and possible side effects. They must consider vaccination
programmes and cite their importance in the evidence presented.
For pass standard, learners will need to become familiar with the methods by which infectious
diseases can be transmitted. While much information will be acquired through research, it is
expected that learners have the opportunity to investigate this practically (swabs of surfaces, and
water samples cultivated on agar plates could be used, depending on availability of equipment and
health and safety regulations in centres). Practical work will not be formally assessed. Alternatively,
to engage learners and increase their understanding, simulation activities of ‘swapping body fluids’
and transmission by touching/shaking hands can be carried out. Assessment evidence requires
learners to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of direct and indirect methods of
transmission in the unit content.
Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners will extend their knowledge and understanding of methods
of treating disease to consider the relevance and significance of the available treatments and why
they may not be suitable for everyone. They will need to consider the method of delivery of the
treatment. Is it easily available? Who administers it? How is it administered (tablet, injection)?
Learners will need to explore and evaluate social, cultural and religious beliefs, as well as
contraindications and consideration of potential side effects.
For merit standard, learners will examine and provide detail about how and why the different
treatments work and why, in some instances, they might not work. Learners must refer to specific
diseases and make comparisons. They should examine vaccination, detailing types of vaccine and
giving the mode of action. This could be in relation to a specific vaccination programme.
For pass standard, learners will identify the pathogen and the method of treating a named
disease. They should provide detail on the delivery of the treatment – oral, injection and so on.
All the unit content should be covered.
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UNIT 12: DISEASES AND INFECTION
Learning aim D
For distinction standard, learners will consider the relevance, significance, advantages and
disadvantages, and strengths and weaknesses of having a cell-mediated and a humoral response to
infection caused by a pathogen. They could produce an illustrated report as evidence. They must
detail the significance of the speed and specificity of the response in relation to the defence process
and progression of the disease in the body. Learners are expected to use examples of specific
diseases in their evidence.
For merit standard, learners will examine the key aspects and processes of the specific and
non-specific defence mechanisms and their suitability for the purpose of defending the body.
They must compare in detail similarities and differences, and reasons why it is beneficial to have
both types available to help protect the body. Learners should include details on the speed and
specificity of the response to the disease.
For pass standard, learners will explain the defence systems of the body. They could produce an
information leaflet that explains how and why the non-specific defences of physical and chemical
barriers and phagocytosis works. Another section of the leaflet could explain the components and
function of the specific defence system.
Links to other units
This unit links to:
•
•
•
•
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
Unit 11: Genetics and Genetic Engineering
Unit 17: Microbiology and Microbiological Techniques
Unit 20: Biomedical Science.
Employer involvement
A visit from the local Environmental Health Department may afford learners an opportunity to
understand the role of the department in identifying pathogens and sources of infection and in
preventing transmission of pathogens. They may also be able to provide information in relation to
environmental diseases and their prevention.
It may be possible to arrange a visit from a pharmacist/pharmacologist who will be able to discuss
prophylaxis, vaccination and possible treatments for various types of pathogens.
Local representatives of local and national organisations and charities may be available to provide
information about initiatives in which their organisations are involved to help prevent the spread
of disease.
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Unit 13: Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
The unit covers three important inorganic chemistry topics: acid-base equilibria, redox reactions
and transition metal complexes.
Unit introduction
Acid-base equilibria are important industrially and in biology. Analysts in many companies carry out
acid-base titration – for example in the production of fatty acids from fats, finding the acid number
in the oil industry, and determining the acidity of wine and vinegar. The phosphate and carbonic
acid buffer systems help to maintain pH in cells. Compounds are often added to food products to
ensure that the pH remains constant and the mixture stable. In this unit, you will learn how to
calculate the pH of solutions and carry out acid-base titrations using pH meters, learning how to
select suitable indicators for titrations and how autotitrators work. You will also explore buffer
action.
Oxidation-reduction reactions, involving loss and gain of electrons, have applications in industry
and in biology. You will learn how to write oxidation-reduction half-equations and balance overall
redox equations in terms of the number of electrons involved. The concept of oxidation number will
allow you to identify redox equations. There are several industrial analytical methods that involve
redox reactions, and you will have the opportunity to use and research some of these.
Many compounds of biological importance are transition metal complexes. You will learn about
complexes of the period 4 transition metals, exploring terms related to complexes and investigating
substitution reactions and acid-base reactions of transition metal complexes. You will make and
explain very detailed observations from the reactions and you will summarise the main reactions
that transition metals undergo, devising a scheme for distinguishing between metal ions in solution.
Most of the chemistry in this unit is particularly applicable to the water testing and water treatment
industries. For example, pH is routinely measured when testing the quality of effluent. Dichromate
oxidation is used to determine chemical oxygen demand which gives an indication of the extent of
contamination of water by organic substances. The corrosion of industrial water boilers must be
carefully controlled and this work is often sub-contracted to specialists. The level of acidity and the
concentration of transition metal ions is important when determining the nature and concentration
of treatment chemicals. Aqueous effluent is often treated by neutralisation.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Investigate acid-base equilibria in order to understand buffer action and to optimise
acid-base titration procedures
B Investigate oxidation-reduction reactions in order to understand their many
applications in analysis
C Investigate practically a range of reactions involving solutions of transition metal
ions in order to understand the basis for their qualitative analysis.
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended
assessment approach
A
A1 Calculation of the pH of
pH calculations. Results of
finding Ka, descriptions and
assessment of buffer action.
Results and graphs from four
pH titrations and a statement
justifying choices of suitable
indicators for titrations.
Investigate acid-base
equilibria in order to
understand buffer action
and to optimise acid-base
titration procedures
strong acids, strong
alkalis, weak acids and
buffer solutions
A2 Behaviour of strong and
weak acids and alkalis and
buffer solutions
B
Investigate
oxidation-reduction
reactions in order to
understand their many
applications in analysis
B1 Displacement reactions
and electrochemical cells
B2 Use of oxidation number
B3 Titrimetric
methods involving
oxidation-reduction
reactions
A report evaluating titrations
using indicators, pH meters
and autotitrators.
Oxidation, reduction and redox
equations and standard cell
voltages for a range of
electrochemical cells.
Comparison of three measured
cell voltages with the standard
voltages. Identification of the
redox reactions in a list of six
given reactions justified on the
basis of oxidation numbers.
Results and calculations for a
range of redox titrations plus
discussion of the redox bases
for these titrations.
Observations from the
oxidation of an alcohol with
acidified dichromate.
An evaluation of the use of
iodine/thiosulfate titration and
determination of chemical
oxygen demand in industry.
C
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Investigate practically a
range of reactions
involving solutions of
transition metal ions in
order to understand the
basis for their qualitative
analysis
C1 The nature of transition
metal complexes
C2 Reactions of transition
metal complexes
Results table for test tube
reactions involving transition
metals and explanations of the
reactions including equations.
A PowerPoint presentation
analysing the types of
reactions that transition metals
undergo and providing a
reaction scheme to identify
five transition metal ions in
solution.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Content
Learning aim A: Investigate acid-base equilibria in order to understand buffer
action and to optimise acid-base titration procedures
A1 Calculation of the pH of strong acids, strong alkalis, weak acids and buffer solutions
• Brønsted-Lowry acid is a proton donor.
• Brønsted-Lowry base is a proton acceptor.
• Conjugate acids and bases.
• HA ⇌ H+ + A A-  H+ 
• Definition of acid dissociation constant Ka in terms of the above equilibrium Ka =    
[HA ]
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Magnitude of
Ka related to degree of dissociation.
Strong acids and alkalis are fully dissociated.
Weak acids and alkalis are partially dissociated.
Ka for a strong acid is large – virtually no whole acid molecules are present.
Ka for a weak acid is small – most of the acid is dissolved as whole molecules.
pH = −log[H+]
[H+] = 10-pH
pKa = −logKa
[H+] = acid concentration for strong acids.
pH of 0.1 mol dm-3 strong acid is ~ 1, of 0.01 mol dm-3 strong acid is ~ 2 etc.
Ionic product for water
Kw = [H+][OH-] = 1 × 10-14 mol2 dm-6
pKw = −logKw
[OH-] = alkali concentration for strong alkalis.
Kw
• For strong alkalis, [H+] =
−
OH
[ ]
• For weak acids, [H+] =
( K × [HA ])
a
• Acidic buffer – a solution of a weak acid and a salt of the weak acid.
  A-  
  for a buffer solution (Henderson-Hasselbalch equation).
 [HA ] 


• pH = −logKa + log  
• Calculation of pH for strong acids, weak acids, strong alkalis and buffer solutions.
• Industrial applications of pH measurement:
o in wastewater treatment, pH should be in the range 6–10 for safety, to ensure that
pipes and pumps are not damaged and to ensure that microbiological treatment
processes are not compromised
o in the wine industry, pH may have an effect on the rates of different fermentation
processes, flavour, aroma, colour, tartrate content, ability to absorb carbon dioxide
and the keeping quality of the wine
o pH is a measured by pharmaceutical companies as an indicator of what the water
that is used in their processes may contain.
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
A2 Behaviour of strong and weak acids and alkalis and buffer solutions
•
•
•
•
Determination of
Ka from the pH of the solution where half the acid is neutralised.
Investigate buffer action.
Roles of carbonic acid molecules and hydrogen carbonate ions in controlling blood pH.
pH titrations of strong acid/strong alkali, strong acid/weak alkali, weak acid/strong alkali,
weak acid/weak alkali and descriptions of the shapes of the pH/volume titration curves.
• Excel differential plots (∆pH/∆volume versus volume added) and the use of these plots in
determining end point of a titration.
• Selection of indicator for an acid-base titration on the basis of the rapid change of pH
(or spike from a differential plot) being within the pH range of the indicator.
• Awareness of the use of autotitrators – programing the additions to make for a particular
industrial analysis, appreciation of how the instrument determines end point.
• Industrial applications of acid-base titration:
o wine industry
o determination of the acid number of biodiesel
o manufacture of soft drinks
o manufacture of fatty acids from fats.
• Industrial applications of buffers and acidity regulators in the food industry.
Learning aim B: Investigate oxidation-reduction reactions in order to
understand their many applications in analysis
B1 Displacement reactions and electrochemical cells
• Oxidation defined in terms of loss of electrons.
• Reduction defined in terms of gain of electrons.
• Displacement reactions for metals, to include zinc with lead nitrate solution and copper(II)
sulphate solution, lead with copper(II) sulphate solution.
• Half-equations for oxidation and reduction and full redox equations for displacement reactions
for metals.
• Metal/metal ion half cells.
• Standard conditions (1 bar pressure, temperature of 298 K and ionic concentration
(more strictly, activity) of 1).
•
•
•
•
Standard hydrogen electrode.
Table of standard reduction potentials.
Standard cell notation.
Measurement of voltage of the following cells (using 0.1 mol dm-3 solutions):
o Zn(s)/Zn2+(aq) ¦¦ Cu2+(aq)/Cu(s)
o Zn(s)/Zn2+(aq) ¦¦ Pb2+(aq)/Pb(s)
o Pb(s)/Pb2+(aq) ¦¦ Cu2+(aq)/Cu(s)
• Calculation of voltage using table of standard reduction potential and comparison with
theoretical voltages.
• Half cells involving platinum electrodes.
• Using table of standard reduction potential to calculate the voltages of a range of cells
under standard conditions.
• Balancing redox equation in terms of the number of electrons involved in the
oxidation-reduction process.
• Consideration of the extent to which standard reduction potentials are useful in predicting
corrosion behaviour.
• Industrial applications of displacement reactions and electrochemical cells
o making batteries
o determination of corrosion behaviour.
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
B2 Use of oxidation number
• Working out oxidation number for elements in elements, compounds and ions, including
compound ions from rules.
• Using oxidation number to identify oxidation-reduction equations.
• The oxidation number of the element that undergoes oxidation in an oxidation-reduction reaction
becomes more positive (less negative).
• The oxidation number of the element that undergoes reduction in an oxidation-reduction reaction
becomes more negative (less positive).
• Industrial applications – understanding oxidation/reduction reactions.
B3 Titrimetric methods involving oxidation-reduction reactions
• Balancing oxidation-reduction half equations.
• Determination of iron(II) concentration by titration with potassium manganate(VII):
o self-indicating
o Fe2+ → Fe3+ + eo MnO4- + 8H+ + 5e- → Mn2+ + 4H2O
o 5 : 1 ratio of Fe2+ to MnO4- in redox equation
o 5Fe2++ MnO4- + 8H+ → 5Fe3+ + Mn2+ + 4H2O
o requirement for sulfuric acid to be added to supply the hydrogen ions on the left hand
side of the equation in order for the titration to work
o application to finding the amount of iron(II) in commercial iron tablets.
• Iodine/thiosulfate titration:
o standardisation of thiosulfate with potassium iodate
o use of thiosulfate to determine the concentration of iodine in a solution
o quantitative conversion of added iodide from KI crystals or tablets to iodine by the
presence of an oxidising agent
o determination of hypochlorite (ClO-) in bleach by titration with standardised
thiosulfate solution
o determination of Cu2+ in a solution by titration with standardised thiosulfate solution
o determination of peroxide in a rancid fat by titration with standardised thiosulfate
solution
o iodine number of an oil
o awareness of the position of iodine in the periodic table facilitating the conversion of
iodine to iodide and iodide to iodine
o review industrial applications of the iodine/thiosulfate titration.
• Potential use of dichromate(VI) as a titrant:
o half-equation Cr2O72- + 14H+ + 6e- → 2Cr3+ + 7H2O
o colour change of orange to blue-green
o need for acid to supply the hydrogen ions to make the reaction work
o test tube oxidation of suitable organic compounds with acidified potassium
dichromate(VI) – colour change indicates oxidation of the organic compound has
taken place.
• Potassium dichromate(VI) as a hazardous substance:
o dichromate causes serious damage to eyes, skin, organs, respiratory system,
fertility and causes cancer, genetic defects and may be a skin allergen
o crystals of potassium dichromate are small enough to be inhaled accidentally by
those preparing solutions
o use of large volumes as in a titration increases risk of exposure
o potential risk of fire if combustible material is used to clean spillages.
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
• Risks involved in the titration process outweigh the educational benefits.
• Use of dichromate(VI) in industry to determine chemical oxygen demand:
o used extensively to test water in a range of organisations
o digestion process is potentially dangerous so commercial kits are used
o additives are included in the kits
o amount of dichromate used is often determined using colorimetry
(rather than titration) in commercial kits.
• Industrial applications of oxidation-reduction:
o the wastewater treatment and water testing industries
o iodometry and iodimetry
o food industry uses the iodine/thiosulfate titration to determine peroxide value of fats
and oils as an indicator of rancidity
o food industry and other industries may determine iodine number as a measure of
unsaturation
o metal plating industry may use iodine/thiosulphate tiration to determine the
concentration of Cu2+
o water treatment industry may use iodine/thiosulfate titration to measure
ClO-concentration in bleach.
Learning aim C: Investigate practically a range of reactions involving solutions
of transition metal ions in order to understand the basis for their qualitative
analysis
C1 The nature of transition metal complexes
• Deduce electronic configurations of atoms and ions of the d-block elements of period 4
(Sc–Zn) given the atomic number and the charge.
• Ligands: H2O, NH3, CN-, Cl-, OH-, SCN-, SO42-, EDTA, diaminoethane, ethanedioate, mondentate,
multidentate.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Complex ions containing a transition metal ion surrounded by ligands.
Co-ordinate (dative) bonding in complex ions.
Charge on complex ions, taking account of ligand charge.
Formulae of complex ions using square bracket notation.
Co-ordination number.
Most common arrangements of ligands (octahedral, tetrahedral and square planar) and examples
of each.
• Colour of transition metal complexes due to splitting of d-orbitals due to the presence of ligands:
o simple crystal field theory.
• Colour affected by oxidation number, ligand and co-ordination number.
• Industrial applications of transition metal complexes:
o pigments
o catalysts
o inkjet printing of circuits
o pharmaceuticals.
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
C2 Reactions of transition metal complexes
• Practical investigation of ligand substitution in hexaaqua complexes:
o Cl−from very concentrated hydrochloric acid to include:
[CuCl4]2− from [Cu(H2O)6]2+
[CoCl4]2− from [Co(H2O)6]2+
[Cr(H2O)4Cl2]+ from [Cr(H2O)6]3+
o reversal of substitution by addition of water
o ammonia to include formation of:
[Cu(NH3)4(H2O)2]2+ from [Cu(H2O)6]2+ via Cu(OH)2(H2O)4
[Co(NH3)6]2+ from [Co(H2O)6]2+ via cobalt (II) hydroxide
[Cr(NH3)6]3+ from [Cr(H2O)6]3+ via chromium (III) hydroxide
o [Cr(H2O)5SO4]+ by warming chromium (III) sulphate solution containing [Cr(H2O)6]3+
o [Fe(H2O)6]3+ reacting with the ligand SCN- to give the deep red [Fe(SCN)(H2O)5]2+ –
a test for Fe3+ in solution
o colour changes accompanying substitution reactions and colours of precipitated
hydroxides.
• Substitution of CO for oxygen in haemoglobin in carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Addition of sodium hydroxide to transition metal ions in solution:
o low pH of hexaaqua 3+ ions in solution – ions acting as proton donors (Lewis acids)
o 2+ ions are less acidic because the lower charge has less pull on the electrons of the
water molecule and the H+ is less easily lost
o hydronium ions involved – can be simplified to H+(aq)
o adding hydroxide uses the hydrogen ions and forces the series of equilibria below to
the right, ending with a neutral complex (the metal hydroxide) which is insoluble –
using iron as the example:
– [Fe(H2O)6]3+(aq) ⇌ [Fe(H2O)5(OH)]2+(aq) + H+(aq)
– [Fe(H2O)5(OH)]2+(aq) ⇌ [Fe(H2O)4(OH)2]+(aq) + H+(aq)
– [Fe(H2O)4(OH)2]+(aq) ⇌ [Fe(H2O)3(OH)3](s) + H+(aq)
o 2+ ions react in the same way with hydroxide to produce a precipitate of the
hydroxide
o [Zn(H2O)4(OH)2] may react further to produce [Zn(OH)4]2−
o the reaction with 3+ ions can go further in some cases to produce [M(H2O)2(OH)4]−
and then [M(H2O)(OH)5]2− and then [M(OH)6]3−
o charged hydroxide complex ions redissolve.
• Addition of ammonia solution to transition metal ions in solution (apart from the effect of ligand
substitution):
o ammonia acts as a Lewis base and accepts H+ from complexes in the same way as
water
o [M(H2O)6]3+ + NH3 ⇌ [M(H2O)5(OH)]2+ + NH4+
• Addition of carbonate to transition metal ions in solution:
o 3+ ions are strongly acidic and react to give a precipitate of the hydroxide and carbon
dioxide
o 2+ ions are less acidic and react to give the insoluble metal carbonate.
• Opportunity for carefully carrying out test tube reactions, noting colour changes and appearance
of precipitates – reagents added dropwise and in excess.
• Use of descriptions and equations to explain observations.
• Use of matrices for determining unknown cations by test tube reactions.
• Industrial applications:
o catalysts (making use of ligand substitution in catalysis)
o understanding and preventing corrosion
o removal of transition metal ions from wastewater by the addition of hydroxide ions.
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Investigate acid-base equilibria in order to
understand buffer action and to optimise acid-base titration
procedures
A.P1 Perform straightforward
calculations to determine the
pH of solutions.
A.P2 Demonstrate accurately a
reading of Ka in a weak acid
and demonstrate buffer action.
A.P3 Demonstrate accurate use of a
pH meter in order to select
suitable indicators.
A.M1 Perform complex
calculations involving pH,
including rearranging
equations.
A.M2 Assess the action of a
buffer solution.
A.D2 Evaluate the accuracy
of acid-base titrations
using an indicator,
a pH meter and an
autotitrator.
A.M3 Justify the selection of
indicators for the titrations.
Learning aim B: Investigate oxidation-reduction reactions in
order to understand their many applications in analysis
B.P4 Compare measured cell
voltages for electrochemical
cells involving metal/metal ion
half cells with voltages
calculated by using oxidation,
reduction and redox equations.
B.P5 Demonstrate how to
determine accurate oxidation
numbers for species in
equations to identify reactions
involving oxidation and
reduction.
B.M4 Express oxidation,
reduction and redox
equations and calculate
standard cell voltages for
given pairs of half cells.
B.M5 Explain the redox reactions
involved in analytical
procedures in terms of the
oxidation numbers for the
species involved.
B.D2 Evaluate the industrial
use of analytical
procedures using redox
reactions.
B.P6 Demonstrate how to
determine the concentration
of analytes using analytical
procedures involving oxidation
and reduction.
Learning aim C: Investigate practically a range of reactions
involving solutions of transition metal ions in order to
understand the basis for their qualitative analysis
C.P7 Describe features of transition
metal complexes.
C.P8 Make accurate observations
from practical work involving
reactions of transition metal
complexes.
104
C.M6 Explain the results of
practical work involving
transition metal
complexes.
C.D3 Analyse the reactions
of transition metal
complexes from
practical work to show
how metal ions may be
identified from the
reactions that they
undergo.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of three summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.P2, A.P3, A.M1, A.M2, A.M3, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P4, B.P5, B.P6, B.M4, B.M5, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P7, C.P8, C.M6, C.D3)
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UNIT 13: APPLICATIONS OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to a well-equipped laboratory with a fume cupboard.
Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will evaluate the good and bad points of acid-base titrations
using indicators, pH titrations and titrations using autotitrators in terms of producing accurate
results. Learners will consider the effect of choosing the wrong indicator and any problems with
using indicators, but they will be able to explain how indicator titrations may still provide highly
accurate results. They will consider the cost of equipment and the need for calibration and
maintenance of equipment. The amount of titrant added each time, for the three types of titration,
could be considered. Learners must not assume that the more automated a process, the more
accurate it will be.
For merit standard, learners will perform complex calculations involving pH and acid dissociation
constant. Two questions will be set on each of strong acids, strong alkalis, weak acids and buffer
solutions which involve rearrangement of the equations. For example, learners could be given the
pH and the acid concentration of a solution and asked to calculate the acid dissociation constant.
The answer to one of the two questions of each type must be completely correct in order to achieve
the criterion. Learners will assess buffer action in terms of the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation and
will explain the buffer action that occurs in the blood. Learners will justify their selection of indicator
for the four titrations carried out using appropriate scientific language. This should involve
considering the pH range of the indicator and the rapid change of pH in the pH versus volume
curve for the titration.
For pass standard, learners will perform straightforward calculations to find the pH of strong
acids, strong alkalis, weak acids and buffer solutions. Calculation of [H+] from pH will also be
included. Learners will be given extensive practice in preparation for a short test, with a formula
sheet, where they perform two calculations of each type (ten questions). The answer to one of the
two questions of each type must be completely correct in order to achieve the criterion.
Learners will make an acidic buffer solution, calculating its pH and comparing that pH with the
measured pH using an accurately calibrated pH meter. They will add small amounts of strong alkali
or strong acid (for example, 1 cm3 of a 0.1 mol dm-3 solution) to the buffer, measure the pH and
describe what that tells them about the buffer solution in terms of the effects on pH of adding acid
or alkali. Learners will be specific about the sizes of the pH changes observed and the quantities of
acid and alkali added.
Learners will carry out pH titrations (strong acid/strong alkali, strong acid/weak alkali, weak
acid/strong alkali, weak acid/weak alkali) adding 0.5 cm3 of titrant at a time and noting pH. They
will plot scatter graphs of pH against volume of acid added and ∆pH/∆volume against volume of
acid (in Excel®) and determine the end point of each of the four titrations. They will also note the
extent of the rapid change in pH and use this to select a suitable indicator for each titration from
research carried out on the pH ranges of indicators.
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Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners will investigate a range of industrial analytical procedures
involving redox reactions, to include the iodine/thiosulfate and the use of chemical oxygen demand
kits. Learners will produce a report evaluating the industrial applications of redox titrations and use
of chemical oxygen demand kits. They will evaluate how widespread these techniques are and the
types of industry that use them. Learners will consider alternative analytical procedures that could
be used if appropriate.
For merit standard, learners will be given four electrochemical cells for which they must write
oxidation, reduction and redox equations and calculate the standard cell voltage. These will include
the need to balance the redox equations in terms of the number of electrons involved and also half
cells, involving platinum (of the type Pt(s)/Fe3+(aq), Fe2+(aq)).
Learners will discuss the titrations carried out at pass standard, in terms of the oxidation, numbers
of the species involved and the number of electrons involved, and how that allows the
concentrations to be determined.
For pass standard, learners will write the oxidation and reduction half-cell and redox equations
for all three of the electrochemical cells in the content and calculate their standard cell voltages
using standard reduction potentials. They will measure the voltages of the three cells and compare
their measurements to the standard voltages calculated.
Learners will be presented with a list of at least six equations, some of which are
oxidation/reduction equations. Some should be equations of other types, for example acid/base
and precipitation. They will correctly identify the oxidation and reduction equations and give limited
explanation of how they have done this in terms of accurately calculating the oxidation numbers of
the elements in the species (elements, compounds, ions) involved.
Learners will carry out the Fe2+/MnO4- titration to standardise an Fe2+ solution with given
standardised MnO4-, standardise sodium thiosulfate solution with potassium iodate, KIO3, and use
it to determine the concentration of at least two analytes in solution (iodine, hypochlorite, Cu2+,
peroxide). Observation reports and calculated results will provide evidence. Learners must also
carry out a test tube reaction showing how an organic compound may be oxidised with acidified
potassium dichromate solution and describe their observations.
Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners will analyse the reactions that transition metals undergo.
Their presentations will have a clear structure, showing that they understand the concepts of
ligand substitution and acidity. They will select five transition metal ions in solution and present a
reaction scheme that allows these metal ions to be identified in terms of colours observed and the
absence/presence of a precipitate when certain reagents are added. The underlying chemistry of
the scheme will be explained.
For merit standard, learners will use equations to explain the results of the practical work carried
out to achieve the pass criteria. They must explain at least one example of the ligand substitution
reactions with ammonia and with chloride, and an example of the reactions with each of the
reagents, hydroxide, ammonia, carbonate (dropwise and in excess). Learners will use accurate
terminology in explanations and correct notation in equations.
For pass standard, learners will answer questions that allow them to describe what is meant by
the terms ‘transition metal’, ‘ligand’, ‘complex’, ‘octahedral’, ‘tetrahedral’, ‘square planar’ and the
square bracket notation in relation to specific transition metal complexes. They should be able to
give a brief description of the bonding type in complexes. Learners will carry out ligand substitution
reactions with ammonia and chloride and add sodium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide and
sodium carbonate (dropwise and in excess) to transition metal ions in solution. (Note that
very concentrated hydrochloric acid must be used for chloride to substitute water molecules in
complexes.) They will be required to design and use suitable tables for recording results and make
accurate observations from practical work. Five of the Period 4 transition metals will be selected for
an assessment.
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Links to other units
This unit links to:
•
•
•
•
•
Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills
Unit 6: Investigative Project
Unit 19: Practical Chemical Analysis.
Employer involvement
Centres may involve employers in the delivery of this unit if there are local opportunities.
For example, it will be beneficial for learners to visit the testing laboratories of local companies
that treat wastewater from industry. Speakers from the water treatment industry or specialist
companies that treat boiler water to prevent corrosion will be able to explain the relevance of the
chemistry in this unit.
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Unit 14: Applications of Organic Chemistry
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
Learners will cover the skills required to prepare and test a range of organic compounds and
develop an understanding of their properties and uses in everyday life.
Unit introduction
In this unit, you will learn that the majority of the substances we use every day are, or contain,
organic compounds. This is because carbon, the basis of organic compounds, can form molecules
consisting of chains and rings of atoms that enable it to bond with itself and with other elements
to form useful products. 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 all to use. The number of known
organic compounds is enormous and growing.
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.
This will include aromatic compounds and their industrially useful reactions and a range of
functional group compounds. This study will include how they can be converted into one another,
which allows the synthesis of organic compounds with particular structures, fitting them for specific
commercial uses.
You will also learn about isomerism, the phenomenon whereby a number of organic compounds
have the ability to form different arrangements of the same atoms. You will then gain practical
technical skills by carrying out a number of reactions to prepare and test organic compounds.
This unit will support you in gaining access to higher education courses employment. It will open
up an awareness of a wide range of exciting career paths such as research or analytical work, as a
laboratory science technician or a science apprentice, in pharmaceuticals, chemistry, biochemistry
or biotechnology. Being able to describe your understanding and practical experience in organic
chemistry will help with interviews for advanced scientific apprenticeship roles, as well as degree
courses in chemistry, biology or a biochemistry discipline.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Understand the structures, reactions and properties of functional group compounds
B Understand the reactions and properties of aromatic compounds
C Understand the types, structures, reactions, uses and properties of isomers
D Investigate organic chemistry reactions in order to gain skills in preparative organic
chemistry.
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended assessment
approach
A
A1 Structures, reactions,
A research report showing the
different types of reactions for
both carbonyl and non-carbonyl
functional group compounds.
Understand the structures,
reactions and properties of
functional group
compounds
uses and properties of
non-carbonyl compounds:
halogenalkanes, alcohols,
amines
A2 Structures, reactions,
uses and properties of
carbonyl compounds:
aldehydes, ketones,
carboxylic acids, esters,
acyl chlorides, amides
B
Understand the reactions
and properties of aromatic
compounds
B1 Structures, reactions,
uses and properties of
benzene
B2 Structures, reactions,
uses and properties of
monosubstituted benzene
compounds
Learners could produce visual
presentations such as flow
charts, mind maps, data charts,
diagrams for the carbonyl and
non-carbonyl compound
properties, their reactions
and their different types of
mechanisms.
A research report showing the
typical addition and substitution
reactions undergone by benzene.
Diagrams and explanations
showing how the structure of
benzene was established.
Diagrams showing the different
effects of monosubstituents on
the benzene ring and their
reactions.
A summary of important
industrial uses of benzene and
example monosubstituent
compounds.
C
Understand the types,
structures, reactions, uses
and properties of isomers
C1 Types, structures,
D
Investigate organic
chemistry reactions in
order to gain skills in
preparative organic
chemistry
D1 Reactions of non-carbonyl
reactions, uses and
properties of isomers
compounds
D2 Reactions of carbonyl
compounds
D3 Reactions of aromatic
compounds using
methylbenzene or
methoxybenzene
110
A research report showing
2D and 3D structural diagrams
of the different types of isomers.
A summary of the different
properties of cis and trans
isomers. Simple models of
optical isomers such as amino
acids and sugars and their
effects. Their industrial
importance and therapeutic/
chemical importance.
A portfolio of reactions that
learners have carried out in the
course of this unit, including
observations of safe working
and risk assessment.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Content
Learning aim A: Understand the structures, reactions and properties of
functional group compounds
A1 Structures, reactions, uses and properties of non-carbonyl compounds:
halogenoalkanes, alcohols, amines
• Halogenoalkanes – nomenclature.
• Nucleophilic substitution of halogenoalkanes (OH−, NH3, primary amines), SN1 and SN2
mechanisms of nucleophilic substitution, elimination reactions.
• Primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols – nomenclature.
• Solubility of alcohols.
• Reactions of alcohols with sodium, oxidation with hot copper(II) oxide; oxidation of alcohols
with acidified dichromate(VI); oxidation of primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols.
•
•
•
•
•
Primary, secondary and tertiary amines.
Amines as bases.
Amines as nucleophiles.
Reaction of amines with halogen alkanes.
Synthesis of commercially important organic compounds – PVC, CFCs and HCFCs.
A2 Structures, reactions, uses and properties of carbonyl compounds: aldehydes,
ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, acyl chlorides, amides
• Aldehydes and ketones – nomenclature.
• Oxidation of aldehydes with – Tollens’ reagent, Benedict’s or Fehling’s reagents,
acidified dichromate(VI).
• Reduction of aldehydes and ketones (NaBH4, LiAlH4).
• Nucleophilic addition of HCN to aldehydes and ketones.
• Addition-elimination reactions of aldehydes and ketones reaction with
2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine, hydrazine, oxime.
• Carboxylic acids – nomenclature.
• Carboxylic acids – weak acidity of carboxylic acids.
• Reaction with alcohols to form esters – esters as solvents, flavours and fragrances,
commercially important esters, e.g. polyester.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Reaction of acyl chlorides with water, alcohols, phenol, ammonia and amines.
Preparation of amides.
From carboxylic acids.
Acyl chlorides and acid anhydrides.
Hydrolysis of amides.
Synthesis of commercially important polyamides – nylon and Kevlar®.
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Learning aim B: Understand the reactions and properties of aromatic compounds
B1 Structures, reactions, uses and properties of benzene
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Kekulé structure, hybridisation, delocalised pi bonding in benzene.
Thermochemical, x-ray diffraction and infrared data evidence for the structure of benzene.
Nomenclature of aromatic compounds.
Combustion to form a smoky flame.
Addition reactions with hydrogen, chlorine.
Sulfonation reaction with concentrated sulfuric acid.
Reaction of benzene sulfonic acid to form phenol.
Friedel-Crafts reaction to form methylbenzene.
Industrial importance of benzene in the manufacture of polymers, detergents and insecticides.
B2 Structures, reactions, uses and properties of monosubstituted benzene compounds
•
•
•
•
•
•
Effect of substituents groups –OH, –Cl, –NO2, –CH3 on the benzene ring.
Chlorination and nitration of methylbenzene.
Chlorination and nitration of phenol.
Methylation of chlorobenzene.
Reduction of nitrobenzene.
Commercial importance of phenol, methylbenzene.
Learning aim C: Understand the types, structures, reactions, uses and properties
of isomers
C1 Types, structures, reactions, uses and properties of isomers
• Structural, chain, positional, functional group, stereoisomerism, geometric, optical.
• Three-dimensional structures, representations and recognition.
• Different properties of isomers – lower melting points of Z (cis) isomers, different boiling points
of chain and positional isomers.
• Different reactions of functional group isomers.
• Cis and trans (E and Z) fats.
• Natural occurrence of particular optical isomers – optical isomers of sugars, optical isomers of
amino acids.
• Different therapeutic effects of optical isomers of drugs.
• Difference between starch and cellulose.
Learning aim D: Investigate organic chemistry reactions in order to gain skills in
preparative organic chemistry
D1 Reactions of non-carbonyl compounds
• Halogenoalkanes.
• Alcohols.
• Amines.
D2 Reactions of carbonyl compounds
•
•
•
•
Aldehydes and ketones.
Carboxylic acids.
Esters.
Amides.
D3 Reactions of aromatic compounds using methylbenzene or methoxybenzene
• Using methylbenzene or methoxybenzene.
• Phenol with bromine water and dilute nitric acid.
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Understand the structures, reactions
and properties of functional group compounds
A.P1 Explain the reactions of a
range of carbonyl and
non-carbonyl functional
group compounds.
A.M1 Construct mechanisms for
non-carbonyl and
carbonyl compounds.
A.M2 Plan a multi-step
synthesis of carbonyl and
non-carbonyl organic
molecules in order to
produce many organic
substances, taking more
than one reaction step.
A.D1 Analyse the types of reaction
mechanisms undergone by
non-carbonyl and carbonyl
compounds.
Learning aim B: Understand the reactions and
properties of aromatic compounds
B.P2 Explain the structure of
benzene using sigma and
pi bonding, providing
evidence for the
structure.
B.M3 Compare the mechanisms
for addition and
substitution reactions of
benzene.
B.P3 Explain the chemical
properties of industrially
important benzene and
monosubstituted benzene
compounds.
B.D2 Analyse the effects of
different monosubstituents
on the benzene ring to
predict further substitution
position(s) of a reaction
species on the benzene ring.
Learning aim C: Understand the types, structures,
reactions, uses and properties of isomers
C.P4 Explain the different
types of structural
isomerism and
stereoisomerism.
C.M4 Compare the different
types of isomers and their
industrial importance.
C.D3 Analyse the chemical/
therapeutic importance of
isomerism.
Learning aim D: Investigate organic chemistry
reactions in order to gain skills in preparative organic
chemistry
D.P5 Carry out practical
examinations of organic
chemical reactions safely
and in order to produce
the predicted products.
D.M5 Assess the importance of
the conditions chosen for
the reactions carried out
practically.
D.P6 Explain the chemical
reactions carried out in
terms of the functional
groups and reaction
conditions involved.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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D.D4 Evaluate the results obtained
and the importance of the
reaction conditions chosen for
the reactions carried out
practically.
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of four summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.M1, A.M2, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P2, B.P3, B.M3, B.D2)
Learning aim: C (C.P4, C.M4, C.D3)
Learning aim: D (D.P5, D.P6, D.M5, D.D4)
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to a well-equipped laboratory with a fume cupboard.
Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will analyse the typical reactions mechanisms undergone by
carbonyl and non-carbonyl compounds and produce a relevant interpretation of the similarities and
differences.
For merit standard, learners will construct at least one correct mechanism for an addition,
substitution, elimination and addition-elimination reaction for an appropriate non-carbonyl or
carbonyl reaction shown in the content. They will be given at least two starting materials and
corresponding product materials to plan synthesis routes, involving at least two or more steps for
each route. Alternatively, they could use a detailed synthesis map as evidence.
For pass standard, learners will present as evidence an explanation of typical non-carbonyl and
carbonyl reactions shown in the content, to include the correct names and formulae of starting
materials and products, balanced equations, reaction conditions and any commercially important
products.
Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners will analyse the effects of at least three
monosubstituents on the benzene ring, using their effect on the benzene ring to predict the
positions of further substitutions on the ring for both 2 and 4 positions and the 3 position.
For merit standard, learners will identify the main factors to explain the appropriate similarities
and differences between the mechanisms for at least two addition and two substitution reactions.
For pass standard, learners will provide appropriate evidence, such as bond length, delocalisation
of electrons, bond energies to give valid reasons or the structure of benzene. They will give
relevant information and valid reasons why at least three examples of the suitability and purpose
of why benzene and monosubstituted benzene compounds are of industrial importance.
Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners will carry out a methodical examination of selected
well-documented examples to provide appropriate evidence of optical isomers that have different
chemical/therapeutic properties.
For merit standard, learners will examine the industrial importance of isomerism. This could be
done conveniently by providing evidence of relevant differences in properties between them and the
possible consequences of not being aware of isomerism.
For pass standard, learners will explain the different types of structural isomerism, giving at least
two examples of chain, positional and functional group isomers. They will use diagrams, molecular
models and properties of the isomers where appropriate. Learners will explain the different types
of stereoisomerism, giving at least two examples of geometric and optical isomers. They will use
diagrams, molecular models and properties of the isomers where appropriate.
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UNIT 14: APPLICATIONS OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Learning aim D
For distinction standard, learners will draw valid conclusions from the results obtained to include
strengths and weaknesses of the reaction conditions chosen for the reactions carried out practically.
For merit standard, learners will identify the reagents used and the temperature and time chosen
in the given reaction methods, providing evidence and giving reasons why these have been chosen
for at least three reactions.
For pass standard, learners will provide the results/notes from a portfolio of practical work,
a witness testimony of working safely and a safety assessment of at least two of the practical
exercises undertaken. They will provide relevant information at least three of the reactions carried
out to include the reactants, products, balanced equations and the functional groups involved in the
reactions and the appropriate reaction mechanisms.
Links to other units
This unit links to:
•
•
•
•
Unit 1: Principles and Applications in Science I
Unit 5: Principles and Applications in Science II
Unit 13: Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
Unit 22: Materials Science.
Employer involvement
Centres may involve employers in the delivery of this unit if there are local opportunities to do so.
Visits from chemical, biochemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturers would be
advantageous.
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UNIT 15: ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
Unit 15: Electrical Circuits and their
Applications
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
This unit covers the principles of electricity, including measurements of electrical values and health
and safety, the construction of circuits and their use in society today.
Unit introduction
In this unit, you will explore what electricity is, how to use measuring devices and construct
circuits, as well as gain an understanding of the many varied applications of electricity in our
everyday lives. Since Thomas Edison’s first demonstration of the electric lamp in 1879, it is difficult
to imagine life without electricity and the immediate effects it provides.
Despite advances in modern electronic devices, fundamental electrical principles still form the basis
of electrical and electronic development in all aspects of life. The unit will provide you with the
knowledge and skills necessary to undertake essential tasks related to electrical circuits and their
components.
You will perform practical investigations and report on aspects of electrical measurement,
using mathematical relationships to explain readings while developing an understanding of the
importance of correct calculations in order to determine how circuits behave. You will study health
and safety in relation to alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) circuits and develop an
understanding of the principles used by electrical safety devices. The different types of measuring
devices will also be covered in detail, providing you with information about the methods used by
various types of electrical equipment and the part played by transducer devices.
This unit will help you progress to further education, to specialised electrical qualifications or help
you to pursue a career as a science technician working in industry, education, health or modern
research laboratories. The unit will give you knowledge and understanding of key electrical
concepts. It can also help to develop your confidence in the use of instruments and measuring
devices under safe working conditions.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Understand electrical symbols, units, definitions, relationships and properties of
circuit components for use in the construction of circuits
B Construct series and parallel circuits for use in standard electrical applications and
measure electrical values
C Examine AC and DC production and health and safety aspects in domestic and
industrial applications
D Examine the uses of transducers, sensors and other measurement devices.
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UNIT 15: ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended
assessment approach
A
Understand electrical
symbols, units, definitions,
relationships and
properties of circuit
components for use in the
construction of circuits
A1 Electrical symbols, units
A scientific report including use
of terms, symbols, units and
example calculations.
Construct series and
parallel circuits for use in
standard electrical
applications and measure
electrical values
B1 Circuit characteristics
B
and definitions
A2 Electrical formulae and
relationships
A3 Electrical properties and
uses of materials
B2 Measurement devices
Practical investigation of
ohmic/non-ohmic conduction
devices.
Practical circuit assembly,
combination circuits and
recorded results.
Records of measurement
results of circuit values,
resistance values, calculated
and predicted comparison.
Potential divider circuit work –
diagrams and report.
C
Examine AC and DC
production and health and
safety aspects in domestic
and industrial applications
C1 DC production
C2 AC production and
transmission
C3 Domestic applications and
mains supply
C4 Industrial applications
C5 Safety, human physiology,
and electricity and
legislation
A report using laboratory and
research notes on domestic
mains characteristics.
A practical investigation into
production of induced
current/voltage.
A general study of uses of AC
and DC electricity in the home.
A case study comparing
industrial uses.
A report on physiological study
of electric shock effects (AC
and DC).
An industrial site visit to
produce a site safety report
and outline of safety devices.
D
Examine the uses of
transducers, sensors and
other measurement
devices
D1 Uses of passive
transducers
D2 Uses of active transducers
D3 Uses of sensors and other
measurement devices
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Circuit construction and a
report on transducers, sensors
and other measurement
devices.
A report on applications and
operation of transducers,
sensors and measurement
devices.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science –
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UNIT 15: ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
Content
Learning aim A: Understand electrical symbols, units, definitions, relationships
and properties of circuit components for use in the construction of circuits
A1 Electrical symbols, units and definitions
• Symbols: cell, battery, switch, filament lamp, fixed resistor, thermistor, light-emitting diode
(LED), light-dependent resistor (LDR), rheostat, capacitor, voltmeter, ammeter.
• Definitions: current (ampere), potential difference (volt), electrical charge (coulomb), resistance
(ohm), conductance (siemen), electrical power (watt), capacitance (farad and sub-units).
• Definition of current in terms of rate of flow of mobile charge carriers.
• Definition of electromotive force (EMF) as measure of ratio of energy supplied per unit charge.
• Definition of conductance and resistance in relation to density of mobile charge carriers.
A2 Electrical formulae and relationships
•
•
•
•
•
Energy supplied
W = VIt
Use of Ohm’s Law V = IR
Kirchoff’s Laws.
Power
P = IV, P = I2R
Charge Q = It
• Conductance G =
1 1
=
R V
•
pl
(Ωm)
A
•
Resistivity
R=
Capacitors:
o charge stored by capacitors Q = CV in operation as a reservoir
o charging and discharging graph representations
1
CT
o calculations of capacitances (CT = C1 + C2 for parallel capacitors, =
1
1
+ ...
C1 C2
for series capacitors).
A3 Electrical properties and uses of materials
•
•
•
•
•
Conductivity and resistivity.
Insulators and conductors.
Ohmic and non-ohmic conductors.
Capacitors as a filter in AC circuits.
Semiconductors.
Learning aim B: Construct series and parallel circuits for use in standard
electrical applications and measure electrical values
B1 Circuit characteristics
• Correct assembly of series and parallel resistive circuits using up to three resistors in series,
parallel and series–parallel combination.
1
RT
• Calculation of resistance and conductance (RT = R1 + R2 for series circuits =
1
1
+ ...
R1 R2
for parallel circuits and similarly for conductance).
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UNIT 15: ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
B2 Measurement devices
• Use of ammeters and voltmeters (digital and analogue types for simple comparison).
• Nature of voltage drop across components as the energy dissipates per unit charge by
a resistor (where the energy dissipated is transferred from electricity into heat).
• Potential divider circuits and potential divider calculation.
• Internal resistance and EMF with use of E = I(R + r)
Learning aim C: Examine AC and DC production and health and safety aspects in
domestic and industrial applications
C1 DC production
• Battery (dry cell) construction (zinc, zinc chloride/ammonium chloride and carbon/
manganese dioxide).
• Passage of electrons as unidirectional.
• DC produced by thermocouples and solar cells.
• DC motor/generator (reverses polarity of AC motor).
C2 AC production and transmission
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Magnetic fields around permanent magnets and a wire carrying a current.
Fleming’s left hand rule.
Fleming’s right hand rule.
Electromagnetic induction and Faraday’s Law.
Principles of Lenz’s law.
Transformer principles and equation (step-up and step-down).
Transmission of power from ‘supply’ to ‘load’.
Power loss from cables (I2R).
C3 Domestic applications and mains supply
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Domestic ring main circuit.
Nature of AC voltage as changing polarity with instantaneous values varying sinusoidally.
Root mean square (RMS).
Peak and peak-to-peak voltages.
Domestic fuse ratings.
Powering DC equipment from AC supply.
Earthing systems.
Fuses.
Significance of double insulation.
Residual current and earth leakage circuit breakers (RCCB and ELCB).
C4 Industrial applications
•
•
•
•
•
DC, e.g. transport, lifting gear, electrolysis.
AC, e.g. induction furnace, speedometer.
Line isolation monitors.
Variable socket design.
Isolating transformers (for outside use).
C5 Safety, human physiology and electricity and legislation
• Typical resistance values for current pathways in the body.
• Skin resistance and changes of environment, e.g. moisture levels of the skin,
contact with the ground.
•
•
•
•
•
Heart responses to electric shock.
Principles of the defibrillator.
Effect of the length of current exposure time and amount of electrical current.
Safe levels of DC voltage.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
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Learning aim D: Examine the uses of transducers, sensors and other
measurement devices
D1 Uses of passive transducers
• As defined by: devices that change the electrical characteristics within a circuit by the influence
of external physical factors (sensors). For example, light-dependent resistor (LDR) and their
practical uses, thermistors, reed switch, strain gauge and Wheatstone bridge arrangement,
and potential divider circuits.
• Uses of light meters, automatic cameras, alarm systems.
D2 Uses of active transducers
• Production of EMF by conversion of energy from external physical source, e.g. operation and
structure of a thermocouple.
• Piezoelectric devices and fundamental principles.
• Understanding of the need for signal amplification for these devices.
D3 Uses of sensors and other measurement devices
• Oscilloscopes for voltage measurement and AC/DC display.
• Multi-meters and range of measurements.
• Data-logging devices, such as those that sense and store information from physical sources for
use with visual/audio display and processing.
• pH meters, temperature sensors, moisture sensors, pressure sensors, light sensors.
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Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Understand electrical symbols, units,
definitions, relationships and properties of circuit
components for use in the construction of circuits
A.P1 Explain principle electrical
terms, quantities and
relationships for given
situations.
A.M1 Demonstrate, by
calculation, the use of
principle electrical terms,
quantities and
relationships for given
situations.
Learning aim B: Construct series and parallel circuits for
use in standard electrical applications and measure
electrical values
B.P2 Accurately construct a
range of circuits and record
appropriate values
accurately using suitable
measurement devices.
AB.D1 Evaluate, by calculation
and graphical
representation, the
operation of a range of
circuit assemblies using
measured values.
B.M2 Compare predicted and
calculated fundamental
electrical values for a
range of circuit
assemblies.
Learning aim C: Examine AC and DC production and
health and safety aspects in domestic and industrial
applications
C.P3 Explain the similarities and
differences of AC and DC
electrical circuits.
C.P4 Explain the dangers of
working with electricity
and its effects on human
physiology.
C.M3 Compare RMS and peak
values of AC electricity.
C.M4 Discuss the procedures
and practices used to
minimise risk when
working with electricity.
C.D2 Evaluate the principles
of AC production and
transmission for safe use
in suitable applications.
Learning aim D: Examine the uses of transducers,
sensors and other measurement devices
D.P5 Describe the basic
principles of operation of
transducers, sensors and
electrical measurement
devices.
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D.M5 Demonstrate the correct
basic principles and uses
of transducers, sensors
and electrical
measurement devices in
practical situations.
D.D3 Evaluate the use of
transducers, sensors and
measurement devices in
practical situations in
terms of their fitness
for purpose.
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UNIT 15: ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information on
our website.
There is a maximum number of three summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aims: A and B (A.P1, B.P2, A.M1, B.M2, AB.D1)
Learning aim: C (C.P3, C.P4, C.M3, C.M4, C.D2)
Learning aim: D (D.P5, D.M5, D.D3)
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Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to:
• DC electrical circuit boards and the components identified in unit content
• suitable range ammeters, voltmeters, multi-meters and high-impedance analogue or digital
(DSO) oscilloscopes – single or dual trace
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
a signal generator, microphone and speakers
standard transformer packs
12 V DC power supplies and suitable single cells
domestic wiring/fuse samples
rheostats
electrolysis apparatus
RCCB and ELCB (for demonstration purposes)
a variety of sensors for circuit use
thermocouple components, piezoelectric example model
data loggers and associated sensors (pH, moisture, light, temperature, pressure)
a working model for AC transmission (demo) or National STEM Centre e-library video.
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Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aims A and B
For distinction standard, learners will perform fully independent calculations of essential
electrical quantities using studied relationships. As many graphical representations for electrical
relationships will be produced as are necessary (for example resistance, power, charge). Ohmic
and non-ohmic examples will be used and evaluated. Learners will use data gathered from circuit
construction and their calculations to compare measured and calculated values. They will provide
a report with an evaluation of the operation of suitable circuits and the measured and calculated
values obtained. This could also include a comparison of resistivity values obtained with the actual
research values, for example. Any discrepancies between these values will be explained by example
calculations and circuit and component understanding.
For merit standard, learners will demonstrate competence in using correct electrical relationships
and calculating values of electrical quantities. Teachers can provide formulae sheets that
incorporate many or all examples of standard suitable calculations that can be performed by
learners and assessed. These calculations will be linked to a variety of circuit situations to provide
suitable reference and context. Learners will use the values obtained in their circuit measurements
to make accurate circuit calculations. Using calculations, learners will be able to predict values of
current, voltage and resistance at various points in circuits. These predicted values can then be
generally compared to measured values obtained from a variety of both series and parallel circuits.
Practical determination and subsequent calculation of resistivity values could be incorporated into
the work to enhance the electrical investigative work and understanding of electrical relationships.
For pass standard, learners will produce a comprehensive list all of the electrical terms and
symbols given in the unit content, with a brief explanation of each. This may be carried out by
producing a catalogue or poster. A list of the main electrical formulae used in this unit will also be
provided by the teacher and accompanied by an explanation linking the formulae to their purpose
in electrical circuit work.
Learners will be able to obtain measurements of voltage, current and resistance from the
construction of series and parallel circuits and to record them in an appropriate tabular form
for clarity. Circuit construction will incorporate a minimum of three resistors in a variety of
configurations. There is no specific number of circuits to be completed, but teachers must ensure
that they are varied and that learners are given guidance where necessary. In general, the
expectation is that learners will construct functional series and parallel resistor circuits with
resistors, filament lamps and capacitors.
Learning aim C
For distinction standard, learners will provide a clear evaluation, with diagrams, to illustrate how
AC electricity is produced, using the fundamental aspects of Fleming’s left hand rule for electrical
motors and right hand rule for electrical generators, and expanding this to include the generators in
power stations. Learners will evaluate how electricity is transmitted to homes and industry and
mathematically account for the need to use transformers and high voltages. The use of AC and DC
in the home or industry will then be outlined in detail to identify the applications of AC and DC and
the safety mechanisms in place. This will incorporate work covered at merit standard for safety
devices and their operation, correct practices and procedures and the Electricity at Work
Regulations 1989. It is expected that this work will be presented in a formal, well-written and wellorganised report that attempts to combine all of the important aspects covered in the learning aim.
For merit standard, learners will provide a thorough review of AC production and the relationships
that determine movement and current flow direction from Fleming’s left and right hand rules.
Detailed explanation of the sinusoidal waveform, with labelled diagrams, will be used to outline the
key aspects of AC representation and allow for a comparison between RMS and peak values of AC
electricity. In addition, learners will produce work that demonstrates how a generator operates and
include the use and operation of step-up and step-down transformers
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UNIT 15: ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
when transmitting AC on the national grid. Learners will give a valid discussion of how specific
safety devices reduce risk from electricity, both AC and DC. Each device studied will be described
with the aid of clearly labelled diagrams and explanatory notes on how the device is activated
within its circuit. They will also include information on the ways in which organisations maintain
health and safety in relation to hazards posed by the use of electrical equipment.
Learners will be able to discuss the operation of electrical safety devices and the safety practices
and procedures used to help reduce or eliminate specific risks. They will include details of typical
circuit breakers, line isolation monitoring, equipotential earthing systems and double insulation.
Learners will then link their work to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
For pass standard, learners will outline, by means of effective diagrams and clear descriptions,
the essential similarities and differences between AC and DC when applied to simple electrical
circuits. Learners’ work will include AC changing in direction and DC one-directional current flow,
loss of energy in DC circuits and power loss reduction of AC when transmitted, frequency of zero
for DC and display as a horizontal line on an oscilloscope, no change in DC size with time, DC
chemically produced in a cell or battery, AC from a generator, the use of a transformer to increase
or decrease AC, and the fact that AC current cannot be stored in batteries.
Learners will illustrate the effects of both AC and DC on the human body with artistic work or
a simple report that also reviews the work for covering differences between the two types of
electricity. They will produce an explanation of the factors that contribute to the severity of the
electric shock, such as the length of time involved and the amount of current.
Learning aim D
For distinction standard, learners will produce an analytical account of the suitability of a chosen
transducer/sensor/measurement device from those studied in the unit for a particular application.
Evidence can focus on a working example of a device in industry and be presented as a case study,
outlining its history, development and technological advancement to date. Alternatively, learners
could present the work by developing an appraisal of each transducer/sensor/measuring device
from initial practical study. This could then take the form of an evaluative report on the suitability
of the equipment used for a given application, discussing its mode of operation, circuit suitability,
accuracy and precision (i.e. fitness for purpose).
For merit standard, learners will demonstrate qualitative research capabilities and may use
various order catalogues from equipment manufacturers to supplement their work. Learners will
produce circuit diagrams of the transducers and sensors chosen and explain their operation and
uses, referring to levels of potential difference, current and resistance. Practical investigation of
the devices will provide operational evidence and correct values obtained can be verified by the
teacher or research text. A suitable transducer for practical construction and calibration is the
thermocouple. Learners will also produce a detailed comparison of an analogue and digital
measurement device (data logger) for a given use.
For pass standard, learners will present a full list of various transducers and the uses of
measurement devices commonly in operation from the unit content. The uses to which these
devices are put will be clearly contextualised and evidence for this section will come from practical
circuit work. Learners will demonstrate and describe the operational principles of at least one
transducer and a range of sensors in simple circuits by carrying out suitable practical investigations,
describing their findings using accepted reporting standards.
Links to other units
This unit links to Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills.
Employer involvement
It may be possible to arrange visits to regional electricity distributors, equipment and component
manufacturers, large-scale industries and power stations. In addition, speakers from local electrical
businesses, suppliers and manufacturers, or electricians will give learners an idea of how this unit
links with everyday practice in industry.
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UNIT 16: ASTRONOMY AND SPACE SCIENCE
Unit 16: Astronomy and Space Science
Level: 3
Unit type: Internal
Guided learning hours: 60
Unit in brief
This unit covers the principles and present-day understanding of developments in astronomy.
Unit introduction
In this unit, you will explore the main concepts that have formed the foundations of astronomy
for hundreds of years. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the key areas in
astronomy and space flight, of the links between these exciting topics and related industries.
You will focus on the study of the solar system and gain an appreciation of the advances made in
space flight, their applications on Earth and the different scientific disciplines. Your skills in analysis,
investigation and research will be enhanced as will your knowledge of key solar system objects,
leading to accurate night sky positioning and star mapping with ample opportunity for both short
and long duration practical observation. You will be introduced to the many factors associated with
space flight, gaining insight into the practicalities and problems associated with propelling an object
beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and sustaining an orbit.
With new and exciting planned missions for astronauts to Mars and the prospects of space tourism,
the realities of interplanetary missions will be explored. In the light of renewed governmental and
commercial plans for further development, you will gain an understanding of how physical laws
are linked to complex deep-space exploration missions. You will discuss current theories in the
formation and end of the universe with an in-depth study of cosmological principles relating to
the Big Bang theory, inflation and evolution as our current understanding allows.
The skills you learn in this unit can be applied to other areas of study and to workplace practices.
You can progress to further education for science-related courses, and to the expanding space
science industry, involving astronomical data analysis, research and development.
Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A Understand the fundamental aspects of the solar system
B Undertake measurement and observation of astronomical objects
C Investigate the essential factors involved in space flight
D Understand the fundamental concepts outlined in astrophysics and cosmology.
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UNIT 16: ASTRONOMY AND SPACE SCIENCE
Summary of unit
Learning aim
Key content areas
Recommended assessment
approach
A
A1 Features and characteristics
A scientific report and diagrams.
Use of terms and numerical
values.
Understand the
fundamental aspects
of the solar system
of the Sun
A2 Features, characteristics and
relationship factors of the
Earth and Moon
A3 Features and characteristics
of the inner and outer
planets
Undertake
measurement and
observation of
astronomical objects
Diagrams and text information
for all planets.
A4 Features and characteristics
Descriptions of smaller
components. Case studies of
spacecraft encounters.
B1 Earth-based telescope design
Descriptions of important
telescopes, optical and radio.
Geographical positions.
of other solar system objects
B
A presentation document. Outline
of features/numerical values
associated with Earth and Moon.
and features
B2 Space-based telescope
design, features and
observatories
B3 Night-sky mapping and
observations
B4 Daytime observation
A report on specific telescopes
using range of wavelengths.
Investigating focal points of
concave mirror and convex lens.
Practical observation logs. Map
of night sky and terminology
definitions.
Practical observation by
projection of sunspot activity.
C
Investigate the
essential factors
involved in space
flight
C1 Spacecraft design
C2 Practicalities and physics of
spaceflight
C3 Future of space flight and
exploration
C4 Factors and benefits
associated with Earth-based
applications of space
technology
D
Understand the
fundamental concepts
outlined in
astrophysics and
cosmology
D1 Principles of star creation
D2 Principles of the ‘death’ of
stars
D3 Observable characteristics
and properties of stars
D4 Origin and theories of
evolution of the universe and
astronomical dimensions
A report on space craft materials
using specified named vehicles.
Conditions for space flight.
Maths associated with speed,
gravitational forces, re-entry
conditions.
Case study: PowerPoint
presentation on spacecraft
design, Moon missions, Mars
probes space stations,
international plans.
Space spin-offs: examples of
research activities performed
by astronauts.
Information poster outlining
the life cycle of stars.
Report of star characteristics
linked to star formation and
death. Detailed HertzsprungRussell (H-R) diagram aspects.
Trigonometric parallax principles
outline.
Presentation: origin and end of
the universe – current theories
and evidence explained.
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Content
Learning aim A: Understand the fundamental aspects of the solar system
A1 Features and characteristics of the Sun
•
•
•
•
Structure – corona, chromosphere, photosphere, convective zone, radiative zone, core.
Nuclear fusion, mass-energy conversion
E = mc2 and proton-proton chain.
Features – prominences, flares, solar wind, solar spectrum, sunspots and cycles.
Physical parameters – diameter, average distance, rotation, mass, surface and
core temperatures.
• Analysis of spectrum range from telescope observation.
A2 Features, characteristics and relationship factors of the Earth and Moon
•
•
•
•
Internal structure of the Earth – crust, mantle, core, atmospheric composition.
Rotations and orbital characteristics.
Van-Allen radiation belts.
Lunar features – surface detail, impact craters, phases, eclipses, composition,
orbital characteristics, rotation, gravitational effects.
A3 Features and characteristics of the inner and outer planets
•
•
•
•
Rocky and gaseous differentiation.
Main features of planets.
Kepler’s laws – inverse square relation of distance with gravitational attraction.
Orbital plane and periods, distances, masses, diameters, ring systems, surface features.
A4 Features and characteristics of other solar system objects
•
•
•
•
•
•
Numbers of moons orbiting the planets.
Characteristic features of sample moons – surface, diameters, masses, asteroid belt position.
Features of largest asteroids, e.g. NEAR Shoemaker to Eros, Rosetta/Philae to Comet 67P.
Kuiper belt and Oort cloud.
Short or period comets (generally less than 200 years orbit), e.g. Halley, Shoemaker-Levy 9.
Long period comets and compositions (generally more than 200 years orbit), e.g. Hale-Bopp,
Hyakutake, Kohoutek.
• Meteor showers, e.g. Perseids (August), Orionids (Oct.), Geminids (Dec.).
• Meteor composition, to include stony (chondrites), stony-iron, iron (Widmanstätten lines
from large crystal growth).
• Meteor origins, e.g. meteor tails, asteroids and collisions with other objects, such as
planets (Mars).
Learning aim B: Undertake measurement and observation of astronomical
objects
B1 Earth-based telescope design and features
• Reflector and refractor telescopes – ray diagrams, focal point of concave mirror:
o reflector – principle of prime focus of concave mirror and measurement, positioning
of small, flat mirror before prime focus to reflect out of the telescope
o refractor – determination of focal length of principle converging lens and eye piece
converging lens, ratio to determine magnification.
•
•
•
•
•
Merits of reflector/refractor design.
Aspects of image clarity – spherical and chromatic aberration, resolving power.
Charge-coupled devices (CCDs).
Radio telescope design.
Telescopes giving a collective high resolution of brighter astronomical objects, e.g. Very Large
Telescope (VLT) from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) project in the Andes (Chile).
• Gravity wave detection (LIGO).
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B2 Space-based telescope design, features and observatories
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Microwave – Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).
Infrared – Spitzer, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
Visible – Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
Ultraviolet – HST.
X-ray – Chandra X-ray Observatory, XMM-Newton.
Gamma ray – INTEGRAL, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
Solar – Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), Hinode.
Gravity wave detection – Laser Interferometer Antenna (LISA).
B3 Night-sky mapping and observations
•
•
•
•
•
Constellations.
Apparent motion of the planets and Earth’s moon.
Identifying stars.
Observational techniques.
Celestial coordinates – right ascension (RA) and declination (dec.), altitude and azimuth, zenith,
celestial equator, the ecliptic.
• The Pole Star (Polaris); ‘the Southern Cross’, Large and Small Magellanic Clouds; constellations
that straddle the celestial equator, e.g. Aquarius, Capricornus; Sigma Octantis, e.g. faint star
closest to south celestial pole.
• The Milky Way.
• Identification of primary star catalogue objects, e.g. bright objects that can be seen with the
naked eye.
•
•
•
•
Sporadic or shower meteors.
Galilean moons of Jupiter.
Phases of Venus.
Angles of Saturn’s rings.
B4 Daytime observation
•
•
•
•
Motion of the Sun and Moon.
Principle of the sundial.
Sunspot activity by projection.
Eclipses and transits.
Learning aim C: Investigate the essential factors involved in space flight
C1 Spacecraft design
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Construction materials.
Physical properties.
Power supplies.
Need for an oxidiser.
Ceramic and carbon-carbon compound properties for protection.
Fuel cells for electrical supply.
Hazards – heat, cold, micro-meteorites, fuel components, radiation.
C2 Practicalities and physics of space flight
•
•
•
•
•
•
Lift-off principles.
Mass, propulsion, gimbals, need for staging, spacesuit design features.
Costs.
Distance and time.
Communications.
Effects on humans – radiation exposure, micro-gravity environment, astronauts in constant
free-fall, psychological and physical effects.
• Gravitation.
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• Escape velocity using v =
2gm
r
• Use of ‘gravity assist’ e.g. Voyager 1 and 2 case study.
C3 Future of space flight and exploration
•
•
•
•
•
International Space Station (ISS) and its decommission.
Proposed inter-planetary manned missions, e.g. Inspiration Mars, Mars landing, Orion.
Interplanetary unmanned missions, e.g. SOLO, Juno, Mars Exploration Rover mission.
International missions e.g. Russia, China, Japan, European Space Agency (ESA).
Space tourism, e.g. Spaceship 1, Genesis 1 space hotel, water purification, food, near zero
gravity conditions for long duration, astronaut relationships, time and psychological aspects,
problems of space debris, e.g. NASA is currently tracking about half a million pieces, possible
damage from very small particles to spacecraft, Inter-Agency Space Debris Committee (IADC),
set up with 13 member countries to discuss the problem.
C4 Factors and benefits associated with Earth-based applications of space technology
• Materials and manufacturing.
• Health and medicine, transport, public safety, industry, computer technology, consumers,
environmental and agriculture.
• Orbital types, including geostationary (parking) orbit for TV and communication, e.g. GPS,
meteorology, Earth’s resources.
• Experiments carried out by astronauts in space.
Learning aim D: Understand the fundamental concepts outlined in astrophysics
and cosmology
D1 Principles of star creation
•
•
•
•
•
Giant molecular clouds (nebulae), gravity, collapse, fragmentation (Jeans mass).
Internal temperature rise, initial nuclear reactions – lithium, deuterium.
Pressure balance – equilibrium.
Protostar.
Slower evolution to main sequence.
D2 Principles of the ‘death’ of stars
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Mass relation to life cycle – mass equal to the Sun, mass greater than the Sun.
Core collapse.
Red giants.
White dwarfs.
Electron-degenerate matter, Chandrasekhar limit.
Supernovae.
Neutron stars, pulsars.
Black holes, accretion disc, event horizon, Schwarzschild radius, singularity.
Stellar spectral energy distribution, temperature.
D3 Observable characteristics and properties of stars
• Physical and chemical characteristics, mass, luminosity, apparent magnitude, absolute
d 
magnitude, M = m − 5log   , black body radiation, star classification based on spectral
 10 
analysis (O, B ,A, F, G, K, M), absorption lines.
• Hertzsprung-Russell (H–R) diagram.
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• Spectra:
o colours indicate specific chemical elements and relate to star surface temperature,
e.g. blue dominant (hot), red dominant (colder)
o absorption lines represent ions of specific elements and relate to temperature by
thickness of the line
o comparison to the Sun, e.g. absorption lines may be shifted to either red end
(moving away from us) or blue end (moving towards us)
o wavelength increase or decrease – Doppler effect.
D4 Origin and theories of evolution of the universe and astronomical dimensions
• Units: astronomical unit, light year, parsec.
• Methods of measuring distance, parallax, Cepheid variables, brightness variation,
eclipsing binaries.
• Redshift and absorption of wavelengths, cosmic microwave background (CMB),
abundance of hydrogen and helium isotopes.
•
•
•
•
Galaxies to include formation, classification (spiral, barred-spiral, elliptical and irregular).
Quasars.
The Big Bang.
Hubble’s law, the universe and its composition: dark matter, dark energy, matter,
projected time-line (Big Bang to photon age), critical density, the fate of the universe.
• Olbers’ paradox.
• Possibility of life elsewhere in the universe: SETI and results; definition of life, i.e. carbon
based-life cycle – not necessarily complex organisms; Drake equation reference to intelligent
life, discovery of more than 2000 exoplanets by light variation of stars, possible life-supporting
chemistry.
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UNIT 16: ASTRONOMY AND SPACE SCIENCE
Assessment criteria
Pass
Merit
Distinction
Learning aim A: Understand the fundamental aspects of
the solar system
A.P1 Describe the main features
of the solar system and the
Sun’s influence.
A.M1 Explain the effects of the
interaction between the
Sun, Earth and Moon and
other solar system
objects.
A.D1 Analyse the importance
of the Sun in its solar
system.
Learning aim B: Undertake measurement and
observation of astronomical objects
B.P2 Describe how different
types of telescopes are
used for astronomical
observation.
B.M2 Assess the findings of
practical astronomical
observations and their
importance in astronomy.
B.P3 Explain the relative
positions of night-time
astronomical objects.
B.D2 Evaluate the findings
and validity of practical
astronomical
observations in
understanding the
solar system.
B.P4 Explain the relevant
positions and features of
daytime astronomical
objects.
Learning aim C: Investigate the essential factors
involved in space flight
C.P5 Explain the main factors
associated with achieving
space flight for manned
and unmanned exploration.
C.M3 Assess the main factors
and benefits associated
with achieving space flight
for manned and
unmanned exploration.
Learning aim D: Understand the fundamental concepts
outlined in astrophysics and cosmology
D.P6 Explain current knowledge
and theories of the life
cycles of stars.
D.M4 Assess the processes of
star formation, their life
cycles and evolution.
D.P7 Describe the evidence
linked to theories of the
evolution of the universe.
D.M5 Explain the evidence
linked to theories of the
evolution of the universe
related to observed
phenomenon and its
composition.
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CD.D3 Evaluate the future of
space flight and space
exploration and
research.
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Essential information for assignments
The recommended structure of assessment is shown in the unit summary along with suitable forms
of evidence. Section 6 gives information on setting assignments and there is further information
given on our website.
There is a maximum number of two summative assignments for this unit. The relationship of the
learning aims and criteria is:
Learning aim: A (A.P1, A.M1, A.D1)
Learning aim: B (B.P2, B.P3, B.P4, B.M2, B.D2)
Learning aims: C and D (C.P5, D.P6, D.P7, C.M3, D.M4, D.M5, CD.D3)
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Further information for teachers and assessors
Resource requirements
For this unit, learners must have access to:
• scientific magazines and astronomical journals
• the internet, relevant DVDs, simulation models
• portable telescopes (min. 50 mm refr./100 mm refl.), binoculars (10 × 50 mm) and
projection attachments
• optical physics equipment, lenses (converging and diverging), mirrors (concave spherical
and parabolic, if possible), suitable light sources.
Essential information for assessment decisions
Learning aim A
For distinction standard, learners will explain in detail, the natural forces allowing the Sun
to remain in equilibrium and the eventual outcome when these forces change in terms of their
expected life cycle, with the ultimate effects on the solar system. Learners will explain the process
of nuclear fusion, detailing the magnetic forces and features on the surface of the Sun and their
associated effects. Learners will explain the composition of the Sun, with suitable illustrations,
identifying the gases involved and the layered structure.
For merit standard, learners will work with independence and produce descriptions of the
main features in the solar system. They will include such details as planetary axes of rotation,
composition of planets, moons, asteroids, comets and meteors, planetary ring system labels,
Van Allen radiation belts, surface features on chosen planets and moons etc. Learners will also
provide detailed explanations of star evolution and will describe, in some detail, the variations of
star types that occur, with reference to the H-R diagram. They will include spectral classes and the
relationship with mass, as well as examples, by name, of the star types depicted. Learners will
provide further expansion on the work to explain the variation in star evolution as a result of the
mass of initial material, i.e. stars of mass equal to the Sun and those of mass greater than the
Sun. Learners will explain the methods used to measure astronomical distances and will show the
limitations of trigonometric parallax to relatively short distances in addition to the principles behind
Cepheid variables and eclipsing binaries. They will also appreciate the significance of the shift of
wavelength from galaxies to indicate acceleration towards or away from our viewpoint. Learners
will also include sufficient explanation of Hubble’s law, the reasons providing the current age of the
universe and the possible fate of the universe based on density. They will give a clear explanation
of Olbers’ paradox.
For pass standard, learners will describe the main features of the solar system. They will include
a brief definition of structure, the forces involved, orbital characteristics, rotation, atmospheric
compositions and physical data. They will briefly describe the relationship of the Earth with the
Moon and the Sun by including diagrammatic representation of the particular aspects that occur
as a result of interactions on a regular basis, such as day and night, phases of the Moon, eclipses
of the Sun and the Moon, tidal effects on the Earth. In addition, learners will describe, by written
or diagrammatic form, the other solar system objects. This will include all the known planets,
prominent moons, asteroids, comets, meteors and other associated features such as the Kuiper belt
and Oort cloud objects. Learners will develop a clear document or sketch that illustrates the various
stages of a star’s life, and the different outcomes that can result from variations in the mass of the
material that comprises the star. Brief notes will accompany each stage. Learners will all present
cosmological theories of the present day, attempting to describe, briefly, the general ideas of each
by summarising relevant material and describing the evidence in support. They will include the
essential physical laws that help to explain some key aspects.
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Learning aim B
For distinction standard, learners will evaluate their own practical observations and suggested
improvements. Errors in observations will be identified and relevant comments made relating to
visual aspects, inaccuracies of measurement and suitability of equipment for purpose. Learners will
collect data that is represented in a suitable format with observations set against an accurately
illustrated star map. The validity of learners’ observations will be determined by comparison
with known astronomical data, for example the size of sunspots, the position of the solar plane,
a diagram of the surface of the moon and so on.
For merit standard, learners will work with independence and assess their results from
observations, drawing suitable conclusions. Their observation of the night sky and solar activity will
show accuracy and precision and correct positioning of night sky objects against background field
stars identified by right ascension and declination. Learners will use suitable objects, requiring the
use of a telescope or binoculars, and using projection methods for the Sun.
For pass standard, learners will present a list and associated diagrams or images identifying the
types of telescopes used in modern astronomy. This activity could take the form of a poster or
PowerPoint presentation, highlighting and naming the telescopes that use different parts of the
electromagnetic spectrum. For light, learners will include both refractor and reflector telescopes.
A detailed description of operation is not expected although the general mode of operation and
principles will be outlined. This will include ray diagrams of both reflector and refractor telescope
principles and some evidence of practical determination of focal lengths for converging lenses and
prime focus for convex mirrors. They will keep logbooks and other suitable forms of presentation,
detailing observational records to evidence practical observations taken over a length of time using
suitable equipment. Learners will perform experiments to show that they have attempted to find
the focal length of converging and diverging lenses, using a ray box and the focal length of a
standard concave mirror using a twin-hole ray box. These pieces of equipment can then be used on
objects to assess their effectiveness and the need for parabolic mirrors, for example. Learners will
produce accurate ray diagrams and a log demonstrating observations of some aspects of the night
sky and of the Sun. These activities will be carried out over a suitable time period and night sky
observations will be set against their constellation position where appropriate. Their observations
will be set onto an independently constructed map of a suitable portion of the night sky, with paths
of objects shown against labelled constellations, and stars and distances accurately measured.
Daytime observations will also be set against accurate sky-mapping. Sun-spot activity could be
projected onto a circular template from which precise sunspot sketches can be made over a course
of time. If this unit is delivered during times of solar or lunar eclipse, this will be a valuable
opportunity for observation.
Learning aims C and D
For distinction standard, learners will produce a comprehensive report demonstrating their
knowledge and understanding of the history of space flight and the difficulties involved. They will
include a discussion identifying a good selection of planned missions, manned and un-manned,
proposed by various countries and organisations. Their work can be presented as a journalistic
appraisal and will provide clear descriptions of the proposals and an evaluation of the developments
of each space programme in terms of costs, difficulties that will be faced, benefits and other
implications. Learners will also link this work to the improvement in our current understanding
of the universe – its origin, dynamic nature and theoretical future. This is a good opportunity for
learners to present a discussion on the possibility of life on Earth being ‘unique’ and demonstrating
clear thought on the probabilities of life elsewhere in the universe and problems associated with
space travel beyond the confines of the inner solar system.
For merit standard, learners will produce a well-worded report depicting examples of the products
used in everyday life that have been discovered or developed as a direct result of space flight. Their
report will outline at least five products from materials and manufacturing and learners will provide
general outlines of the work carried out by astronauts, which are research based and linked to
particular areas of science and industry. This may be presented in the form of a list or
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table, including a description and an indication of its relevance to society in general. Learners’
work will be largely independent and will include research evidence, with correct referencing and
bibliography. They will explain, in detail, the effects of space flight on the human body and provide
some assessment of the implications of long-term space flight and what can be done to limit the
problems, such as osteoporosis, change in blood flow, or drop in blood plasma levels. They will
mention all effects on humans listed in the unit contents. Their evidence can take the form of a
large poster or booklet, with clear labelling of the specific areas of the body that are affected.
Learners’ work will also focus on the physical aspect of achieving and sustaining space flight for a
vehicle. They will provide explanations that could be based on known launch and flight data and
attempt to explain how an object achieves escape velocity and then maintains orbit. Calculations
of escape velocity will be included and learners will provide some acknowledgement of the dangers
involved, maybe provided by reference to well-known accidents such as Salyut 1, Apollo 1,
Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttles.
Learners will also include a detailed explanation of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, including
relevant stars by name at various points in the sequence. They will clearly present the current
theoretical explanation of how stars form, using diagrams where necessary. This will include detail
of pressure balance and imbalance, development of protostars to main sequence and eventual end.
Clarity in explanation of the evidence for theories of the evolution of the universe will be given
by learners. This will involve information concerning galaxy movements, star formations and
destructions, age of the universe and further detail regarding the importance of redshift and
the cosmic microwave background.
For pass standard, learners will produce a comprehensive list of the various factors that need
to be considered to achieve space flight. Their list will include, for example materials, fuels,
escape velocity, hazards, costs, communication and effects on humans. They will provide a brief
description of each, with the effects on humans completed by developing a case study identifying
the issues that NASA faced in its preparations for astronaut training during the Apollo missions.
Learners will include a representation of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram for stars, outlining the
aspects of size, temperature and luminocity. A further diagram will show how the stages in the life
of stars depends on their mass in relation to the Sun. Notes to accompany labelled diagrams will be
expected. A valid description of the principles of redshift and cosmic microwave background will be
provided. These will be linked to the theory of the Big Bang. Additional descriptions of objects and
measurements in the universe, such as galaxies, nebulae, supernovae, distances and so on will
enhance learners’ work to outline the continued evolution of the universe.
Links to other units
This unit links to:
• Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I
• Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
• Unit 4: Laboratory Techniques and their Application.
Employer involvement
Visits can be arranged to regional universities’ astronomy departments, materials technology
departments, or computer applications/remote sensing departments, for learners to see, first hand,
the types of applied research being carried out and the equipment being used.
Guest speakers from observatories, aerospace, satellite and space development companies will give
learners an idea of the range of employment opportunities in this field.
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4 Planning your programme
How do I choose the right BTEC National qualification for my learners?
BTEC Nationals come in a range of sizes, each with a specific purpose. You will need to assess
learners very carefully to ensure that they start on the right size of qualification to fit into their
16–19 study programme, and that they take the right pathways or optional units that allow them
to progress to the next stage.
Some learners may want to take a number of complementary qualifications or keep their
progression options open. These learners may be suited to take a BTEC National Certificate or
Extended Certificate. Learners who then decide to continue with a fuller vocational programme
can transfer to a BTEC National Diploma or Extended Diploma, for example for their second year.
Some learners are sure of the sector they want to work in and are aiming for progression into that
sector via higher education. These learners should be directed to the two-year BTEC National
Extended Diploma as the most suitable qualification.
As a centre, you may want to teach learners who are taking different qualifications together.
You may also wish to transfer learners between programmes to meet changes in their progression
needs. You should check the qualification structures and unit combinations carefully as there is no
exact match among the different sizes. You may find that learners need to complete more than the
minimum number of units when transferring.
When learners are recruited, you need to give them accurate information on the title and focus of
the qualification for which they are studying.
Is there a learner entry requirement?
As a centre it is your responsibility to ensure that learners who are recruited have a reasonable
expectation of success on the programme. There are no formal entry requirements but we expect
learners to have qualifications at or equivalent to Level 2.
Learners are most likely to succeed if they have:
• five GCSEs at good grades and/or
• BTEC qualification(s) at Level 2
• achievement in English and mathematics through GCSE or Functional Skills.
Learners may demonstrate ability to succeed in various ways. For example, learners may have
relevant work experience or specific aptitude shown through diagnostic tests or non-education
experience.
What is involved in becoming an approved centre?
All centres must be approved before they can offer these qualifications – so that they are ready to
assess learners and so that we can provide the support that it is needed. Further information is
given in Section 8.
What level of sector knowledge is needed to teach these qualifications?
We do not set any requirements for teachers but recommend that centres assess the overall skills
and knowledge of the teaching team to ensure that they are relevant and up to date. This will give
learners a rich programme to prepare them for employment in the sector.
What resources are required to deliver these qualifications?
As part of your centre approval you will need to show that the necessary material resources and
work spaces are available to deliver BTEC Nationals. For some units, specific resources are
required. This is indicated in the units.
How can myBTEC help with planning for these qualifications?
myBTEC is an online toolkit that supports the delivery, assessment and quality assurance of BTECs
in centres. It supports teachers with activities, such as choosing a valid combination of units,
creating assignment briefs and creating assessment plans. For further information see Section 10.
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Which modes of delivery can be used for these qualifications?
You are free to deliver BTEC Nationals using any form of delivery that meets the needs of your
learners. We recommend making use of a wide variety of modes, including direct instruction in
classrooms or work environments, investigative and practical work, group and peer work, private
study and e-learning.
What are the recommendations for employer involvement?
BTEC Nationals are vocational qualifications and, as an approved centre, you are encouraged to
work with employers on the design, delivery and assessment of the course to ensure that learners
have a programme of study that is engaging and relevant and that equips them for progression.
There are suggestions in many of the units about how employers could become involved in delivery
and/or assessment but these are not intended to be exhaustive and there will be other possibilities
at local level.
What support is available?
We provide a wealth of support materials, including curriculum plans, delivery guides, authorised
assignment briefs, additional papers for external assessments and examples of marked
learner work.
You will be allocated a Standards Verifier early on in the planning stage to support you with
planning your assessments. There will be extensive training programmes as well as support from
our Subject Advisor team.
For further details see Section 10.
How will my learners become more employable through these
qualifications?
All BTEC Nationals are mapped to relevant occupational standards (see Appendix 1).
Employability skills, such as team working and entrepreneurialism, and practical hands-on skills
have been built into the design of the learning aims and content. This gives you the opportunity to
use relevant contexts, scenarios and materials to enable learners to develop a portfolio of evidence
that demonstrates the breadth of their skills and knowledge in a way that equips them for
employment.
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5 Assessment structure and external
assessment
Introduction
BTEC Nationals are assessed using a combination of internal assessments, which are set and
marked by teachers, and external assessments which are set and marked by Pearson:
• mandatory units have a combination of internal and external assessments
• all optional units are internally assessed.
We have taken great care to ensure that the assessment method chosen is appropriate to the
content of the unit and in line with requirements from employers and higher education.
In developing an overall plan for delivery and assessment for the programme you will need to
consider the order in which you deliver units, whether delivery is over short or long periods and
when assessment can take place. Some units are defined as synoptic units (see Section 2).
Normally, a synoptic assessment is one that a learner would take later in a programme and in
which they will be expected to apply learning from a range of units. Synoptic units may be
internally- or externally assessed. Where a unit is externally assessed you should refer to the
sample assessment materials (SAMs) to identify where there is an expectation that learners draw
on their wider learning. For internally-assessed units you must plan the assignments so that
learners can demonstrate learning from across their programme. A unit may be synoptic in one
qualification and not another because of the relationship it has to the rest of the qualification.
We have addressed the need to ensure that the time allocated to final assessment of internal and
external units is reasonable so that there is sufficient time for teaching and learning, formative
assessment and development of transferable skills.
In administering internal and external assessment, the centre needs to be aware of the specific
procedures and policies that apply, for example to registration, entries and results. An overview
with signposting to relevant documents is given in Section 7.
Internal assessment
Our approach to internal assessment for these qualifications will be broadly familiar to experienced
centres. It offers flexibility in how and when you assess learners, provided that you meet
assessment and quality assurance requirements. You will need to take account of the requirements
of the unit format, which we explain in Section 3, and the requirements for delivering assessment
given in Section 6.
External assessment
A summary of the external assessment for this qualification is given in Section 2. You should check
this information carefully, together with the unit specification and the sample assessment materials,
so that you can timetable learning and assessment periods appropriately.
Learners must be prepared for external assessment by the time they undertake it. In preparing
learners for assessment you will want to take account of required learning time, the relationship
with other external assessments and opportunities for retaking. You should ensure that learners are
not entered for unreasonable amounts of external assessment in one session. Learners may have
one resit of an external assessment to obtain either a pass or to seek to gain a merit or distinction.
If a learner has two attempts then the better result will be used for qualification grading. It is
unlikely that learners will need to or benefit from taking all assessment twice so you are advised to
plan appropriately. Some assessments are synoptic and learners are likely to perform best if these
assessments are taken towards the end of the programme.
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Key features of external assessment in applied science
In applied science, after consultation with stakeholders, we have developed the following:
• Unit 1: Principles and Applications of Science I, an exam-based assessment, in which
learners will be asked to respond to a range of different question types, including
multiple-choice, calculations, short-answer, and extended open-response questions
demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of key areas of science. This
assessment covers the core principles across the three science disciplines. Learners will
also make judgements and reach conclusions by evaluating scientific information and
making connections between different scientific concepts, procedures and processes.
• Unit 3: Science Investigation Skills, a task-based assessment in which learners will
demonstrate their skills of carrying out a scientific practical investigation to collect and
record data. The investigation will be from one of the content areas covered by the unit.
Learners will be assessed on their skills of interpretation, analysis, planning and evaluation
by using the data they have collected. They will also be required to apply their knowledge
and understanding of scientific concepts, processes and procedures to plan an
investigation for a different area of content and critique a method and set of results given.
Units
The externally-assessed units have a specific format which we explain in Section 3. The content of
units will be sampled across external assessments over time through appropriate papers and tasks.
The ways in which learners are assessed are shown through the assessment outcomes and grading
descriptors.
Sample assessment materials
Each externally-assessed unit has a set of sample assessment materials (SAMs) that accompanies
this specification. The SAMs are there to give you an example of what the external assessment will
look like in terms of the feel and level of demand of the assessment.
The SAMs show the range of possible question types that may appear in the actual assessments
and give you a good indication of how the assessments will be structured. While SAMs can be used
for practice with learners, as with any assessment the content covered and specific details of the
questions asked will change in each assessment.
A copy of each of these assessments can be downloaded from our website. An additional sample of
each of the Pearson-set units will be available before the first sitting of the assessment to allow
your learners further opportunities for practice.
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6 Internal assessment
This section gives an overview of the key features of internal assessment and how you, as an
approved centre, can offer it effectively. The full requirements and operational information are
given in the Pearson Quality Assurance Handbook. All members of the assessment team need to
refer to this document.
For BTEC Nationals it is important that you can meet the expectations of stakeholders and the
needs of learners by providing a programme that is practical and applied. Centres can tailor
programmes to meet local needs and use links with local employers and the wider
vocational sector.
When internal assessment is operated effectively it is challenging, engaging, practical and
up to date. It must also be fair to all learners and meet national standards.
Principles of internal assessment
Assessment through assignments
For internally-assessed units, the format of assessment is an assignment taken after the content of
the unit, or part of the unit if several assignments are used, has been delivered. An assignment
may take a variety of forms, including practical and written types. An assignment is a distinct
activity completed independently by learners that is separate from teaching, practice, exploration
and other activities that learners complete with direction from, and formative assessment by,
teachers.
An assignment is issued to learners as an assignment brief with a defined start date, a completion
date and clear requirements for the evidence that they need to provide. There may be specific
observed practical components during the assignment period. Assignments can be divided into
tasks and may require several forms of evidence. A valid assignment will enable a clear and formal
assessment outcome based on the assessment criteria.
Assessment decisions through applying unit-based criteria
Assessment decisions for BTEC Nationals are based on the specific criteria given in each unit and
set at each grade level. To ensure that standards are consistent in the qualification and across the
suite as a whole, the criteria for each unit have been defined according to a framework. The way in
which individual units are written provides a balance of assessment of understanding, practical
skills and vocational attributes appropriate to the purpose of qualifications.
The assessment criteria for a unit are hierarchical and holistic. For example, if an M criterion
requires the learner to show ‘analysis’ and the related P criterion requires the learner to ‘explain’,
then to satisfy the M criterion a learner will need to cover both ‘explain’ and ‘analyse’. The unit
assessment grid shows the relationships among the criteria so that assessors can apply all the
criteria to the learner’s evidence at the same time. In Appendix 2 we have set out a definition of
terms that assessors need to understand.
Assessors must show how they have reached their decisions using the criteria in the assessment
records. When a learner has completed all the assessment for a unit then the assessment team will
give a grade for the unit. This is given simply according to the highest level for which the learner is
judged to have met all the criteria. Therefore:
• to achieve a Distinction, a learner must have satisfied all the Distinction criteria (and therefore
the Pass and Merit criteria), these define outstanding performance across the unit as a whole
• to achieve a Merit, a learner must have satisfied all the Merit criteria (and therefore the Pass
criteria) through high performance in each learning aim
• to achieve a Pass, a learner must have satisfied all the Pass criteria for the learning aims,
showing coverage of the unit content and therefore attainment at Level 3 of the national
framework.
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The award of a Pass is a defined level of performance and cannot be given solely on the basis of a
learner completing assignments. Learners who do not satisfy the Pass criteria should be reported as
Unclassified.
The assessment team
It is important that there is an effective team for internal assessment. There are three key roles
involved in implementing assessment processes in your centre, each with different interrelated
responsibilities, the roles are listed below. Full information is given in the Pearson Quality
Assurance Handbook.
• The Lead Internal Verifier (the Lead IV) has overall responsibility for the programme, its
assessment and internal verification to meet our requirements, record keeping and liaison
with the Standards Verifier. The Lead IV registers with Pearson annually. The Lead IV acts
as an assessor, supports the rest of the assessment team, makes sure that they have the
information they need about our assessment requirements and organises training, making
use of our guidance and support materials.
• Internal Verifiers (IVs) oversee all assessment activity in consultation with the Lead IV.
They check that assignments and assessment decisions are valid and that they meet our
requirements. IVs will be standardised by working with the Lead IV. Normally, IVs are also
assessors but they do not verify their own assessments.
• Assessors set or use assignments to assess learners to national standards. Before taking
any assessment decisions, assessors participate in standardisation activities led by the
Lead IV. They work with the Lead IV and IVs to ensure that the assessment is planned and
carried out in line with our requirements.
Effective organisation
Internal assessment needs to be well organised so that the progress of learners can be tracked and
so that we can monitor that assessment is being carried out in line with national standards. We
support you through, for example, providing training materials and sample documentation. Our
online myBTEC service can help support you in planning and record keeping. Further information on
using myBTEC can be found in Section 10 and on our website.
It is particularly important that you manage the overall assignment programme and deadlines to
make sure that learners are able to complete assignments on time.
Learner preparation
To ensure that you provide effective assessment for your learners, you need to make sure that they
understand their responsibilities for assessment and the centre’s arrangements.
From induction onwards, you will want to ensure that learners are motivated to work consistently
and independently to achieve the requirements of the qualifications. Learners need to understand
how assignments are used, the importance of meeting assignment deadlines, and that all the work
submitted for assessment must be their own.
You will need to give learners a guide that explains how assignments are used for assessment, how
assignments relate to the teaching programme, and how learners should use and reference source
materials, including what would constitute plagiarism. The guide should also set out your approach
to operating assessment, such as how learners must submit work and request extensions.
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Setting effective assignments
Setting the number and structure of assignments
In setting your assignments, you need to work with the structure of assignments shown in the
Essential information for assignments section of a unit. This shows the structure of the learning
aims and criteria that you must follow and the recommended number of assignments that you
should use. For some units we provide authorised assignment briefs, for all the units we give you
suggestions on how to create suitable assignments. You can find these materials along with this
specification on our website. In designing your own assignment briefs you should bear in mind the
following points.
• The number of assignments for a unit must not exceed the number shown in Essential
information for assignments. However, you may choose to combine assignments, for
example to create a single assignment for the whole unit.
• You may also choose to combine all or parts of different units into single assignments,
provided that all units and all their associated learning aims are fully addressed in the
programme overall. If you choose to take this approach you need to make sure that
learners are fully prepared so that they can provide all the required evidence for
assessment and that you are able to track achievement in the records.
• A learning aim must always be assessed as a whole and must not be split into two or
more tasks.
• The assignment must be targeted to the learning aims but the learning aims and their
associated criteria are not tasks in themselves. Criteria are expressed in terms of the
outcome shown in the evidence.
• You do not have to follow the order of the learning aims of a unit in setting assignments
but later learning aims often require learners to apply the content of earlier learning aims
and they may require learners to draw their learning together.
• Assignments must be structured to allow learners to demonstrate the full range of
achievement at all grade levels. Learners need to be treated fairly by being given the
opportunity to achieve a higher grade if they have the ability.
• As assignments provide a final assessment, they will draw on the specified range of
teaching content for the learning aims. The specified content is compulsory. The evidence
for assessment need not cover every aspect of the teaching content as learners will
normally be given particular examples, case studies or contexts in their assignments. For
example, if a learner is carrying out one practical performance, or an investigation of one
organisation, then they will address all the relevant range of content that applies in that
instance.
Providing an assignment brief
A good assignment brief is one that, through providing challenging and realistic tasks, motivates
learners to provide appropriate evidence of what they have.
An assignment brief should have:
• a vocational scenario, this could be a simple situation or a full, detailed set of vocational
requirements that motivates the learner to apply their learning through the assignment
• clear instructions to the learner about what they are required to do, normally set out
through a series of tasks
• an audience or purpose for which the evidence is being provided
• an explanation of how the assignment relates to the unit(s) being assessed.
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Forms of evidence
BTEC Nationals have always allowed for a variety of forms of evidence to be used, provided that
they are suited to the type of learning aim being assessed. For many units, the practical
demonstration of skills is necessary and for others, learners will need to carry out their own
research and analysis. The units give you information on what would be suitable forms of evidence
to provide learners with the opportunity to apply a range of employability or transferable skills.
Centres may choose to use different suitable forms for evidence to those proposed. Overall,
learners should be assessed using varied forms of evidence.
Full definitions of types of assessment are given in Appendix 2. These are some of the main types
of assessment:
•
•
•
•
•
•
written reports
projects
time-constrained practical assessments with observation records and supporting evidence
recordings of performance
sketchbooks, working logbooks, reflective journals
presentations with assessor questioning.
The form(s) of evidence selected must:
• allow the learner to provide all the evidence required for the learning aim(s) and the
associated assessment criteria at all grade levels
• allow the learner to produce evidence that is their own independent work
• allow a verifier to independently reassess the learner to check the assessor’s decisions.
For example, when you are using performance evidence, you need to think about how supporting
evidence can be captured through recordings, photographs or task sheets.
Centres need to take particular care that learners are enabled to produce independent work.
For example, if learners are asked to use real examples, then best practice would be to encourage
them to use their own or to give the group a number of examples that can be used in varied
combinations.
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Making valid assessment decisions
Authenticity of learner work
Once an assessment has begun, learners must not be given feedback on progress towards fulfilling
the targeted criteria.
An assessor must assess only learner work that is authentic, i.e. learners’ own independent work.
Learners must authenticate the evidence that they provide for assessment through signing a
declaration stating that it is their own work.
Assessors must ensure that evidence is authentic to a learner through setting valid assignments
and supervising them during the assessment period. Assessors must take care not to provide direct
input, instructions or specific feedback that may compromise authenticity.
Assessors must complete a declaration that:
• the evidence submitted for this assignment is the learner’s own
• the learner has clearly referenced any sources used in the work
• they understand that false declaration is a form of malpractice.
Centres can use Pearson templates or their own templates to document authentication.
During assessment, an assessor may suspect that some or all of the evidence from a learner is not
authentic. The assessor must then take appropriate action using the centre’s policies for
malpractice. Further information is given in Section 7.
Making assessment decisions using criteria
Assessors make judgements using the criteria. The evidence from a learner can be judged using all
the relevant criteria at the same time. The assessor needs to make a judgement against each
criterion that evidence is present and sufficiently comprehensive. For example, the inclusion of a
concluding section may be insufficient to satisfy a criterion requiring ‘evaluation’.
Assessors should use the following information and support in reaching assessment decisions:
• the Essential information for assessment decisions section in each unit gives examples and
definitions related to terms used in criteria
• the explanation of key terms in Appendix 2
• examples of assessed work provided by Pearson
• your Lead IV and assessment team’s collective experience, supported by the
standardisation materials we provide.
Pass and Merit criteria relate to individual learning aims. The Distinction criteria as a whole relate to
outstanding performance across the unit. Therefore, criteria may relate to more than one learning
aim (for example A.D1) or to several learning aims (for example DE.D3.). Distinction criteria make
sure that learners have shown that they can perform consistently at an outstanding level across the
unit and/or that they are able to draw learning together across learning aims.
Dealing with late completion of assignments
Learners must have a clear understanding of the centre policy on completing assignments by the
deadlines that you give them. Learners may be given authorised extensions for legitimate reasons,
such as illness at the time of submission, in line with your centre policies.
For assessment to be fair, it is important that learners are all assessed in the same way and that
some learners are not advantaged by having additional time or the opportunity to learn from
others. Therefore, learners who do not complete assignments by your planned deadline or the
authorised extension deadline may not have the opportunity to subsequently resubmit.
If you accept a late completion by a learner, then the assignment should be assessed normally
when it is submitted using the relevant assessment criteria.
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Issuing assessment decisions and feedback
Once the assessment team has completed the assessment process for an assignment, the outcome
is a formal assessment decision. This is recorded formally and reported to learners.
The information given to the learner:
• must show the formal decision and how it has been reached, indicating how or where
criteria have been met
• may show why attainment against criteria has not been demonstrated
• must not provide feedback on how to improve evidence
• must be validated by an IV before it is given to the learner.
Resubmission of improved evidence
An assignment provides the final assessment for the relevant learning aims and is normally a final
assessment decision, except where the Lead IV approves one opportunity to resubmit improved
evidence based on the completed assignment brief.
The Lead IV has the responsibility to make sure that resubmission is operated fairly. This means:
• checking that a learner can be reasonably expected to perform better through a second
submission, for example that the learner has not performed as expected
• making sure that giving a further opportunity can be done in such a way that it does not
give an unfair advantage over other learners, for example through the opportunity to take
account of feedback given to other learners
• checking that the assessor considers that the learner will be able to provide improved
evidence without further guidance and that the original evidence submitted remains valid.
Once an assessment decision has been given to the learner, the resubmission opportunity must
have a deadline within 15 working days in the same academic year.
A resubmission opportunity must not be provided where learners:
• have not completed the assignment by the deadline without the centre’s agreement
• have submitted work that is not authentic.
Retake of internal assessment
A learner who has not achieved the level of performance required to pass the relevant learning
aims after resubmission of an assignment may be offered a single retake opportunity using a new
assignment. The retake may only be achieved at a pass.
The Lead Internal Verifier must only authorise a retake of an assignment in exceptional
circumstances where they believe it is necessary, appropriate and fair to do so. For further
information on offering a retake opportunity you should refer to the BTEC Centre Guide to
Assessment. We provide information on writing assignments for retakes on our website
(www.btec.co.uk/keydocuments).
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Planning and record-keeping
For internal processes to be effective, an assessment team needs to be well organised and keep
effective records. The centre will also work closely with us so that we can quality assure that
national standards are being satisfied. This process gives stakeholders confidence in the
assessment approach.
The Lead IV must have an assessment plan, produced as a spreadsheet or using myBTEC.
When producing a plan the assessment team may wish to consider:
• the time required for training and standardisation of the assessment team
• the time available to undertake teaching and carry out assessment, taking account of
when learners may complete external assessments and when quality assurance will
take place
• the completion dates for different assignments
• who is acting as IV for each assignment and the date by which the assignment needs to
be verified
• setting an approach to sampling assessor decisions though internal verification that covers
all assignments, assessors and a range of learners
• how to manage the assessment and verification of learners’ work so that they can be given
formal decisions promptly
• how resubmission opportunities can be scheduled.
The Lead IV will also maintain records of assessment undertaken. The key records are:
•
•
•
•
verification of assignment briefs
learner authentication declarations
assessor decisions on assignments, with feedback given to learners
verification of assessment decisions.
Examples of records and further information are given in the Pearson Quality Assurance Handbook.
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7 Administrative arrangements
Introduction
This section focuses on the administrative requirements for delivering a BTEC qualification. It will
be of value to Quality Nominees, Lead IVs, Programme Leaders and Examinations Officers.
Learner registration and entry
Shortly after learners start the programme of learning, you need to make sure that they are
registered for the qualification and that appropriate arrangements are made for internal and
external assessment. You need to refer to the Information Manual for information on making
registrations for the qualification and entries for external assessments.
Learners can be formally assessed only for a qualification on which they are registered. If learners’
intended qualifications change, for example if a learner decides to choose a different pathway
specialism, then the centre must transfer the learner appropriately.
Access to assessment
Both internal and external assessments need to be administered carefully to ensure that all learners
are treated fairly, and that results and certification are issued on time to allow learners to progress
to chosen progression opportunities.
Our equality policy requires that all learners should have equal opportunity to access our
qualifications and assessments, and that our qualifications are awarded in a way that is fair to
every learner. We are committed to making sure that:
• learners with a protected characteristic (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) are not,
when they are undertaking one of our qualifications, disadvantaged in comparison to
learners who do not share that characteristic
• all learners achieve the recognition they deserve for undertaking a qualification and that
this achievement can be compared fairly to the achievement of their peers.
Further information on access arrangements can be found in the Joint Council for Qualifications
(JCQ) document Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration for
General and Vocational Qualifications.
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Administrative arrangements for internal assessment
Records
You are required to retain records of assessment for each learner. Records should include
assessments taken, decisions reached and any adjustments or appeals. Further information can
be found in the Information Manual. We may ask to audit your records so they must be retained
as specified.
Reasonable adjustments to assessment
A reasonable adjustment is one that is made before a learner takes an assessment to ensure that
they have fair access to demonstrate the requirements of the assessments. You are able to make
adjustments to internal assessments to take account of the needs of individual learners. In most
cases this can be achieved through a defined time extension or by adjusting the format of evidence.
We can advise you if you are uncertain as to whether an adjustment is fair and reasonable. You
need to plan for time to make adjustments if necessary.
Further details on how to make adjustments for learners with protected characteristics are given
on our website in the document Supplementary guidance for reasonable adjustment and special
consideration in vocational internally assessed units.
Special consideration
Special consideration is given after an assessment has taken place for learners who have been
affected by adverse circumstances, such as illness. You must operate special consideration in line
with our policy (see previous paragraph). You can provide special consideration related to the
period of time given for evidence to be provided or for the format of the assessment if it is equally
valid. You may not substitute alternative forms of evidence to that required in a unit, or omit the
application of any assessment criteria to judge attainment. Pearson can consider applications for
special consideration in line with the policy.
Appeals against assessment
Your centre must have a policy for dealing with appeals from learners. These appeals may relate
to assessment decisions being incorrect or assessment not being conducted fairly. The first step
in such a policy could be a consideration of the evidence by a Lead IV or other member of the
programme team. The assessment plan should allow time for potential appeals after assessment
decisions have been given to learners. If there is an appeal by a learner you must document the
appeal and its resolution. Learners have a final right of appeal to Pearson but only if the procedures
that you have put in place have not been followed. Further details are given in our policy Enquiries
and appeals about Pearson Vocational Qualifications.
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Administrative arrangements for external assessment
Entries and resits
For information on the timing of assessment and entries please refer to the annual examinations
timetable on our website. Learners are permitted to have one resit of an external assessment
where necessary.
Access arrangements requests
Access arrangements are agreed with Pearson before an assessment. They allow students with
special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to:
• access the assessment
• show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the assessment.
Access arrangements should always be processed at the time of registration. Learners will then
know what type of arrangements are available in place for them.
Granting reasonable adjustments
For external assessment, a reasonable adjustment is one that we agree to make for an individual
learner. A reasonable adjustment is defined for the individual learner and informed by the list of
available access arrangements.
Whether an adjustment will be considered reasonable will depend on a number of factors to
include:
•
•
•
•
the needs of the learner with the disability
the effectiveness of the adjustment
the cost of the adjustment; and
the likely impact of the adjustment on the learner with the disability and other learners.
Adjustment may be judged unreasonable and not approved if it involves unreasonable costs,
timeframes or affects the integrity of the assessment.
Special consideration requests
Special consideration is an adjustment made to a student's mark or grade after an external
assessment to reflect temporary injury, illness or other indisposition at the time of the assessment.
An adjustment is made only if the impact on the learner is such that it is reasonably likely to have
had a material effect on that learner being able to demonstrate attainment in the assessment.
Centres are required to notify us promptly of any learners that they believe have been adversely
affected and request that we give special consideration. Further information can be found in the
special requirements section on our website.
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Conducting external assessments
Centres must make arrangement for the secure delivery of external assessments. External
assessments for BTEC qualifications include examinations, set tasks and performance.
Each external assessment has a defined degree of control under which it must take place. Some
external assessments may have more than one part and each part may have a different degree of
control. We define degrees of control as follows.
High control
This is the completion of assessment in formal invigilated examination conditions.
Medium control
This is completion of assessment, usually over a longer period of time, which may include a period
of controlled conditions. The controlled conditions may allow learners to access resources, prepared
notes or the internet to help them complete the task.
Low control
These are activities completed without direct supervision. They may include research, preparation
of materials and practice. The materials produced by learners under low control will not be directly
assessed.
Further information on responsibilities for conducting external assessment is given in the document
Instructions for Conducting External Assessments, available on our website.
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Dealing with malpractice in assessment
Malpractice means acts that undermine the integrity and validity of assessment, the certification
of qualifications, and/or that may damage the authority of those responsible for delivering the
assessment and certification.
Pearson does not tolerate actions (or attempted actions) of malpractice by learners, centre staff or
centres in connection with Pearson qualifications. Pearson may impose penalties and/or sanctions
on learners, centre staff or centres where incidents (or attempted incidents) of malpractice have
been proven.
Malpractice may arise or be suspected in relation to any unit or type of assessment within the
qualification. For further details regarding malpractice and advice on preventing malpractice by
learners please see Pearson’s Centre Guidance: Dealing with Malpractice, available on our website.
The procedures we ask you to adopt vary between units that are internally-assessed and those that
are externally assessed.
Internally-assessed units
Centres are required to take steps to prevent malpractice and to investigate instances of suspected
malpractice. Learners must be given information that explains what malpractice is for internal
assessment and how suspected incidents will be dealt with by the centre. The Centre Guidance:
Dealing with Malpractice document gives full information on the actions we expect you to take.
Pearson may conduct investigations if we believe that a centre is failing to conduct internal
assessment according to our policies. The above document gives further information, examples and
details the penalties and sanctions that may be imposed.
In the interests of learners and centre staff, centres need to respond effectively and openly to all
requests relating to an investigation into an incident of suspected malpractice.
Externally-assessed units
External assessment means all aspects of units that are designated as external in this specification
including preparation for tasks and performance. For these assessments centres must follow the
JCQ procedures set out in the latest version of JCQ Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and
Assessments Policies and Procedures (www.jcq.org.uk).
In the interests of learners and centre staff, centres need to respond effectively and openly to all
requests relating to an investigation into an incident of suspected malpractice.
Learner malpractice
Heads of centres are required to report incidents of any suspected learner malpractice that occur
during Pearson external assessments. We ask that centres do so by completing a JCQ Form M1
and emailing it and any accompanying documents (signed statements from the learner, invigilator,
copies of evidence, etc) to the Investigations Team at [email protected] The
responsibility for determining appropriate sanctions or penalties to be imposed on learners
lies with Pearson.
Learners must be informed at the earliest opportunity of the specific allegation and the centre’s
malpractice policy, including the right of appeal. Learners found guilty of malpractice may be
disqualified from the qualification for which they have been entered with Pearson.
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Teacher/centre malpractice
Heads of centres are required to inform Pearson’s Investigations Team of any incident of suspected
malpractice by centre staff, before any investigation is undertaken. Heads of centres are requested
to inform the Investigations Team by submitting a JCQ M2(a) form with supporting documentation
to [email protected] Where Pearson receives allegations of malpractice from other
sources (for example Pearson staff or anonymous informants), the Investigations Team will conduct
the investigation directly or may ask the head of centre to assist.
Incidents of maladministration (accidental errors in the delivery of Pearson qualifications that may
affect the assessment of learners) should also be reported to the Investigations Team using the
same method.
Heads of centres/Principals/Chief Executive Officers or their nominees are required to inform
learners and centre staff suspected of malpractice of their responsibilities and rights; see 6.15
of JCQ Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments Policies and Procedures.
Pearson reserves the right in cases of suspected malpractice to withhold the issuing of results
and/or certificates while an investigation is in progress. Depending on the outcome of the
investigation results and/or certificates may be released or withheld.
We reserve the right to withhold certification when undertaking investigations, audits and quality
assurances processes. You will be notified within a reasonable period of time if this occurs.
Sanctions and appeals
Where malpractice is proven we may impose sanctions or penalties.
Where learner malpractice is evidenced, penalties may be imposed such as:
• mark reduction for external assessments
• disqualification from the qualification
• being barred from registration for Pearson qualifications for a period of time.
If we are concerned about your centre’s quality procedures we may impose sanctions such as:
•
•
•
•
•
•
working with you to create an improvement action plan
requiring staff members to receive further training
placing temporary blocks on your certificates
placing temporary blocks on registration of learners
debarring staff members or the centre from delivering Pearson qualifications
suspending or withdrawing centre approval status.
The centre will be notified if any of these apply.
Pearson has established procedures for centres that are considering appeals against penalties and
sanctions arising from malpractice. Appeals against a decision made by Pearson will normally be
accepted only from heads of centres (on behalf of learners and/or members or staff) and from
individual members (in respect of a decision taken against them personally). Further information
on appeals can be found in our Enquiries and Appeals policy, which is on our website. In the initial
stage of any aspect of malpractice, please notify the Investigations Team by email via
[email protected] who will inform you of the next steps.
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Certification and results
Once a learner has completed all the required components for a qualification, even if final results
for external assessments have not been issued, then the centre can claim certification for the
learner, provided that quality assurance has been successfully completed. For the relevant
procedures please refer to our Information Manual. You can use the information provided on
qualification grading to check overall qualification grades.
Results issue
After the external assessment session, learner results will be issued to centres. The result will be in
the form of a grade. You should be prepared to discuss performance with learners, making use of
the information we provide and post-results services.
Post-assessment services
Once results for external assessments are issued, you may find that the learner has failed to
achieve the qualification or to attain an anticipated grade. It is possible to transfer or reopen
registration in some circumstances. The Information Manual gives further information.
Changes to qualification requests
Where a learner who has taken a qualification wants to resit an externally-assessed unit to improve
their qualification grade, you firstly need to decline their overall qualification grade. You may
decline the grade before the certificate is issued. For a learner receiving their results in August,
you should decline the grade by the end of September if the learner intends to resit an external
assessment.
Additional documents to support centre administration
As an approved centre you must ensure that all staff delivering, assessing and administering the
qualifications have access to this documentation. These documents are reviewed annually and are
reissued if updates are required.
• Pearson Quality Assurance Handbook: this sets out how we will carry out quality assurance
of standards and how you need to work with us to achieve successful outcomes.
• Information Manual: this gives procedures for registering learners for qualifications,
transferring registrations, entering for external assessments and claiming certificates.
• Lead Examiners’ Reports: these are produced after each series for each external
assessment and give feedback on the overall performance of learners in response to tasks
or questions set.
• Instructions for the Conduct of External Assessments: this explains our requirements for
the effective administration of external assessments, such as invigilation and submission
of materials.
• Regulatory policies: our regulatory policies are integral to our approach and explain how
we meet internal and regulatory requirements. We review the regulated policies annually
to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. Policies related to this qualification include:
o adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties, access
arrangements and reasonable adjustments for general and vocational qualifications
o age of learners
o centre guidance for dealing with malpractice
o recognition of prior learning and process.
This list is not exhaustive and a full list of our regulatory policies can be found on our website.
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8 Quality assurance
Centre and qualification approval
As part of the approval process, your centre must make sure that the resource requirements
listed below are in place before offering the qualification.
• Centres must have appropriate physical resources (for example equipment, IT, learning
materials, teaching rooms) to support the delivery and assessment of the qualification.
• Staff involved in the assessment process must have relevant expertise and/or
occupational experience.
• There must be systems in place to ensure continuing professional development for staff
delivering the qualification.
• Centres must have in place appropriate health and safety policies relating to the use of
equipment by learners.
• Centres must deliver the qualification in accordance with current equality legislation.
• Centres should refer to the teacher guidance section in individual units to check for any
specific resources required.
Continuing quality assurance and standards verification
On an annual basis, we produce the Pearson Quality Assurance Handbook. It contains detailed
guidance on the quality processes required to underpin robust assessment and internal verification.
The key principles of quality assurance are that:
• a centre delivering BTEC programmes must be an approved centre, and must have
approval for the programmes or groups of programmes that it is delivering
• the centre agrees, as part of gaining approval, to abide by specific terms and conditions
around the effective delivery and quality assurance of assessment; it must abide by these
conditions throughout the period of delivery
• Pearson makes available to approved centres a range of materials and opportunities,
through online standardisation, intended to exemplify the processes required for effective
assessment, and examples of effective standards. Approved centres must use the
materials and services to ensure that all staff delivering BTEC qualifications keep up to
date with the guidance on assessment
• an approved centre must follow agreed protocols for standardisation of assessors and
verifiers, for the planning, monitoring and recording of assessment processes, and for
dealing with special circumstances, appeals and malpractice.
The approach of quality-assured assessment is through a partnership between an approved centre and
Pearson. We will make sure that each centre follows best practice and employs appropriate technology
to support quality-assurance processes, where practicable. We work to support centres and seek to
make sure that our quality-assurance processes do not place undue bureaucratic processes on centres.
We monitor and support centres in the effective operation of assessment and quality assurance.
The methods we use to do this for BTEC Level 3 include:
• making sure that all centres complete appropriate declarations at the time of approval
• undertaking approval visits to centres
• making sure that centres have effective teams of assessors and verifiers who are trained
to undertake assessment
• assessment sampling and verification, through requested samples of assessments,
completed assessed learner work and associated documentation
• an overarching review and assessment of a centre’s strategy for delivering and
quality-assuring its BTEC programmes.
Centres that do not fully address and maintain rigorous approaches to delivering, assessing and
quality assurance cannot seek certification for individual programmes or for all BTEC Level 3
programmes. An approved centre must make certification claims only when authorised by us
and strictly in accordance with requirements for reporting.
Centres that do not comply with remedial action plans may have their approval to deliver
qualifications removed.
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9 Understanding the qualification grade
Awarding and reporting for the qualification
This section explains the rules that we apply in awarding a qualification and in providing an overall
qualification grade for each learner. It shows how all the qualifications in this sector are graded.
The awarding and certification of these qualifications will comply with the requirements of the
Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).
Eligibility for an award
In order to be awarded a qualification a learner must complete all units and achieve a pass or
above in all mandatory units unless otherwise specified. Refer to the structure in Section 2.
To achieve any qualification grade, learners must:
• complete and have an outcome (D, M P or U) for all units within a valid combination
• achieve the required units at pass or above shown in Section 2, and for the Extended
Diploma achieve a minimum of 900 GLH at pass or above
• achieve the minimum number of points at a grade threshold.
It is the responsibility of a centre to ensure that a correct unit combination is adhered to.
Learners who do not pass all the required units shown in the structure will not achieve a
qualification. For example, learners who have not passed the required external units or who have
not taken enough optional units will not achieve that qualification even if they have enough points.
Learners who do not achieve sufficient points for a qualification or who do not achieve all the
required units may be eligible to achieve a smaller qualification in the same suite provided they
have completed and achieved the correct combination of units and met the appropriate qualification
grade points threshold.
Calculation of the qualification grade
The final grade awarded for a qualification represents an aggregation of a learner’s performance
across the qualification. As the qualification grade is an aggregate of the total performance, there is
some element of compensation in that a higher performance in some units may be balanced by a
lower outcome in others.
In the event that a learner achieves more than the required number of optional units, the
mandatory units along with the optional units with the highest grades will be used to calculate
the overall result, subject to the eligibility requirements for that particular qualification title.
BTEC Nationals are Level 3 qualifications and are awarded at the grade ranges shown in the
table below.
Qualification
Available grade range
Certificate, Extended Certificate, Foundation Diploma
P to D*
Diploma
PP to D*D*
Extended Diploma
PPP to D*D*D*
The Calculation of Qualification Grade table, shown further on in this section, shows the minimum
thresholds for calculating these grades. The table will be kept under review over the lifetime of the
qualification. In the event of any change, centres will be informed before the start of teaching for
the relevant cohort and an updated table will be issued on our website.
Learners who do not meet the minimum requirements for a qualification grade to be awarded will
be recorded as Unclassified (U) and will not be certificated. They may receive a Notification of
Performance for individual units. The Information Manual gives full information.
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Points available for internal units
The table below shows the number of points available for internal units. For each internal unit,
points are allocated depending on the grade awarded.
Unit size
60 GLH
90 GLH
U
0
0
Pass
6
9
Merit
10
15
Distinction
16
24
Points available for external units
Raw marks from the external units will be awarded points based on performance in the
assessment. The points scores available for each external unit at grade boundaries are as follows.
Unit size
90 GLH
120 GLH
U
0
0
Pass
9
12
Merit
15
20
Distinction
24
32
Pearson will automatically calculate the points for each external unit once the external assessment
has been marked and grade boundaries have been set. For more details about how we set grade
boundaries in the external assessment please go to our website.
Claiming the qualification grade
Subject to eligibility, Pearson will automatically calculate the qualification grade for your learners
when the internal unit grades are submitted and the qualification claim is made. Learners will be
awarded qualification grades for achieving the sufficient number of points within the ranges shown
in the relevant Calculation of Qualification Grade table for the cohort.
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Calculation of qualification grade
Applicable for registration from 1 September 2016.
Certificate
Extended
Certificate
Foundation
Diploma
Diploma
Extended Diploma
180 GLH
360 GLH
510 GLH
720 GLH
1080 GLH
Grade
Points
threshold
Grade
Points
threshold
Grade
Points
threshold
Grade
Points
threshold
Grade
Points
threshold
U
0
U
0
U
0
U
0
U
0
Pass
18
P
36
P
51
PP
72
PPP
108
MP
88
MPP
124
MMP
140
Merit
Distinction
Distinction*
26
42
48
M
D
D*
52
74
90
M
D
D*
73
104
130
MM
104
MMM
156
DM
124
DMM
176
DDM
196
DD
144
DDD
216
D*D
162
D*DD
234
D*D*D
252
D*D*D*
270
D*D*
180
The table is subject to review over the lifetime of the qualification. The most up-to-date version will be issued on our website.
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Examples of grade calculations based on table applicable to registrations
from September 2016
Example 1: Achievement of an Extended Certificate with a P grade
GLH
Type
(Int/Ext)
Grade
Unit points
Unit 1
90
Ext
Pass
9
Unit 2
90
Int
Pass
9
Unit 3
120
Ext
Merit
20
Unit 8
60
Int
Unclassified
0
Totals
360
P
38
The learner
has achieved a
Pass or above
in units 1,
2 and 3.
The learner has sufficient
points for a P grade
Example 2: Achievement of an Extended Certificate with a D grade
GLH
Type
(Int/Ext)
Grade
Unit points
Unit 1
90
Ext
Merit
15
Unit 2
90
Int
Merit
15
Unit 3
120
Ext
Distinction
32
Unit 8
60
Int
Distinction
16
Totals
360
D
78
The learner has sufficient
points for a D grade
Example 3: An Unclassified Result for an Extended Certificate
GLH
Type
(Int/Ext)
Grade
Unit points
Unit 1
90
Ext
Merit
15
Unit 2
90
Int
Unclassified
0
Unit 3
120
Ext
Distinction
32
Unit 8
60
Int
Merit
10
Totals
360
U
57
The learner has
a U in Unit 2.
The learner has sufficient
points for a M grade but
has not met the minimum
requirement for a Pass in
Units 1, 2 and 3.
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10 Resources and support
Our aim is to give you a wealth of resources and support to enable you to deliver BTEC National
qualifications with confidence. On our website you will find a list of resources to support teaching
and learning, and professional development.
Support for setting up your course and preparing to teach
Specification
This specification (for teaching from September 2016) includes details on the administration of
qualifications and information on all the units for the qualification.
Delivery Guide
This free guide gives you important advice on how to choose the right course for your learners and
how to ensure you are fully prepared to deliver the course. It explains the key features of BTEC
Nationals (for example employer involvement and employability skills). It also covers guidance on
assessment (internal and external) and quality assurance. The Guide tells you where you can find
further support and gives detailed unit-by-unit delivery guidance. It includes teaching tips and
ideas, assessment preparation and suggestions for further resources.
Schemes of work
Free sample schemes of work are provided for each mandatory unit. These are available in Word™
format for ease of customisation.
Curriculum models
These show how the BTECs in the suite fit into a 16–19 study programme, depending on their size
and purpose. The models also show where other parts of the programme, such as work experience,
maths and English, tutorial time and wider study, fit alongside the programme.
Study skills activities
A range of case studies and activities is provided, they are designed to help learners develop the
study skills they need to successfully complete their BTEC course. The case studies and activities
are provided in Word™ format for easy customisation.
myBTEC
myBTEC is a free, online toolkit that lets you plan and manage your BTEC provision from one place.
It supports the delivery, assessment and quality assurance of BTECs in centres and supports
teachers with the following activities:
• checking that a programme is using a valid combination of units
• creating and verifying assignment briefs (including access to a bank of authorised
assignment briefs that can be customised)
• creating assessment plans and recording assessment decisions
• tracking the progress of every learner throughout their programme.
To find out more about myBTEC, visit the myBTEC page on the support services section of our
website. We will add the new BTEC National specifications to myBTEC as soon possible.
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Support for teaching and learning
Pearson Learning Services provides a range of engaging resources to support BTEC Nationals,
including:
• textbooks in e-book and print formats
• revision guides and revision workbooks in e-book and print formats
• teaching and assessment packs, including e-learning materials via the
Active Learn Digital Service.
Teaching and learning resources are also available from a number of other publishers. Details of
Pearson’s own resources and of all endorsed resources can be found on our website.
Support for assessment
Sample assessment materials for externally-assessed units
Sample assessments are available for the Pearson-set units. One copy of each of these
assessments can be downloaded from the website/available in print. For each suite an additional
sample for one of the Pearson-set units is also available, allowing your learners further
opportunities for practice.
Further sample assessments will be made available through our website on an ongoing basis.
Sample assessment materials for internally-assessed units
We do not prescribe the assessments for the internally-assessed units. Rather, we allow you to set
your own, according to your learners’ preferences and to link with your local employment profile.
We do provide a service in the form of Authorised Assignment Briefs, which are approved by
Pearson Standards Verifiers. They are available via our website or free on myBTEC.
Sample marked learner work
To support you in understanding the expectation of the standard at each grade, examples of
marked learner work at PM/MD grades are linked to the Authorised Assignment Briefs.
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Training and support from Pearson
People to talk to
There are many people who are available to support you and provide advice and guidance on
delivery of your BTEC Nationals. These include:
• Subject Advisors – available for all sectors. They understand all Pearson qualifications in
their sector and so can answer sector-specific queries on planning, teaching, learning and
assessment
• Standards Verifiers – they can support you with preparing your assignments, ensuring that
your assessment plan is set up correctly, and support you in preparing learner work and
providing quality assurance through sampling
• Curriculum Development Managers (CDMs) – they are regionally based and have a full
overview of the BTEC qualifications and of the support and resources that Pearson
provides. CDMs often run network events
• Customer Services – the ‘Support for You’ section of our website gives the different ways
in which you can contact us for general queries. For specific queries, our service operators
can direct you to the relevant person or department.
Training and professional development
Pearson provides a range of training and professional development events to support the
introduction, delivery, assessment and administration of BTEC National qualifications. These
sector-specific events, developed and delivered by specialists, are available both face to face
and online.
‘Getting Ready to Teach’
These events are designed to get teachers ready for delivery of the BTEC Nationals. They include
an overview of the qualifications’ structures, planning and preparation for internal and external
assessment, and quality assurance.
Teaching and learning
Beyond the ‘Getting Ready to Teach’ professional development events, there are opportunities for
teachers to attend sector- and role-specific events. These events are designed to connect practice
to theory; they provide teacher support and networking opportunities with delivery, learning and
assessment methodology.
Details of our training and professional development programme can be found on our website.
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Appendix 1 Links to industry standards
BTEC Nationals have been developed in consultation with industry and appropriate sector bodies to
ensure that the qualification content and approach to assessment aligns closely to the needs of
employers. Where they exist, and are appropriate, National Occupational Standards (NOS) and
professional body standards have been used to establish unit content.
In the applied science sector, the following approach has been used:
• Use of Registered Science Technician competencies in the assessment criteria and
guidance in units.
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Appendix 2 Glossary of terms used for
internally-assessed units
This is a summary of the key terms used to define the requirements in the units.
Term
Definition
Examine
Knowledge with application where learners are
expected to select and apply knowledge to less
familiar contexts.
Explore
Skills and/or knowledge involving practical
testing or trialling.
Review
Process for learning (knowledge or skills).
Undertake
Skills, often referring to given processes or
techniques.
Understand
For defined knowledge in familiar contexts.
Analyse
Learners present the outcome of methodical
and detailed examination either:
• breaking down a theme, topic or situation in
order to interpret and study the
interrelationships between the parts and/or
• of information or data to interpret and study
key trends and interrelationships.
Analysis can be through performance, practice,
written or, less commonly, verbal presentation.
Apply
Application of skills, knowledge and
understanding to or within context/situation.
Assess
Learners present a careful consideration of
varied factors or events that apply to a specific
situation or, to identify those which are the
most important or relevant and arrive at a
conclusion.
Calculate
Learners manipulate quantitative data to help
analyse and compare findings.
Compare
Learners identify the main factors relating to
two or more items/situations or aspects of a
subject that is extended to explain the
similarities, differences, advantages and
disadvantages.
This is used to show depth of knowledge
through selection and isolation of
characteristics.
Conduct/use (of)/carry out
Related to use and demonstration of practical
equipment/techniques/procedures.
Construct
Used with a standard to demonstrate
competence in set up of practical equipment.
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Term
Definition
Describe
Learners’ work gives a clear, objective account
in their own words showing recall and, in some
cases application, of the relevant features and
information about a subject.
Use of this verb normally requires breadth of
content coverage.
Evidence will normally be written but could be
through presentation or, less frequently,
performance or practice.
Determine
Learners use quantitative and/or qualitative
information to help analyse and compare
findings.
Discuss
Learners consider different aspects of:
• a theme or topic;
• how they interrelate; and
• the extent to which they are important.
A conclusion is not required.
Evaluate
Learners’ work draws on varied information,
themes or concepts to consider aspects such
as:
• strengths or weaknesses
• advantages or disadvantages
• alternative actions
• relevance or significance.
Learners’ inquiries should lead to a supported
judgement showing relationship to its context.
This will often be in a conclusion.
Explain
Learners’ work shows clear details and gives
reasons and/or evidence to support an opinion,
view or argument. It could show how
conclusions are drawn (arrived at). Learners
are able to show that they comprehend the
origins, functions and objectives of a subject,
and its suitability for purpose.
Illustrate
Learners include examples, images or
diagrams to show what is meant in a specific
context.
Investigate
Knowledge based on personal research and
development.
Justify
Learners give reasons or evidence to:
• support an opinion
• prove something right or reasonable.
Predict (make predictions)
Learners can synthesise predictions using
applications of relevant knowledge and
understanding in a given context.
Prepare
Used with a standard to demonstrate
competence in preparation of testing materials,
for example organic and inorganic
substances/solutions.
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This is a key summary of the types of evidence used for BTEC Nationals.
Type of evidence
Definition and purpose
Case study
A specific example to which all learners must
select and apply knowledge. Used to show
application to a realistic context where direct
experience cannot be gained.
Individual project
A self-directed, large-scale activity requiring
planning, research, exploration, outcome and
review. Used to show self-management, project
management and/or deep learning, including
synopticity.
Development log
A record kept by learners to show the process
of development. Used to show method,
self-management and skill development.
Report writing
A report, consisting of analysis of findings could
be through research or primary investigations
conducted.
Presentation
A visual or audio presentation of findings that
demonstrates knowledge and understanding of
a concept.
Observations sheets,
A witness statement related to the format of
the evidence e.g. practicals.
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Pearson
BTEC Level 3 Nationals
in
Applied Science
Certificate in Applied Science
Extended Certificate in Applied Science
Foundation Diploma in Applied Science
Diploma in Applied Science
Extended Diploma in Applied Science
First teaching from September 2016
First certification from 2017
For more information about Edexcel, BTEC or LCCI qualifications
visit qualifications.pearson.com
BTEC is a registered trademark of Pearson Education Limited
Pearson Education Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 872828
Registered Office: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL
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