BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC) Applied Biology (Part-time) - S004

12 Quays Part Time Higher Education

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This course gives you the knowledge, understanding and skills required for success in employment in the biologically-based life-science industry or for progression to a degree or further professional qualification.

Course Details

Students must undertake a total of eight units to achieve a HNC in Applied Biology, consisting of five mandatory core units and three optional units. A list of these can be found below:


  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry of Macromolecules and Metabolic Pathways
  • Physiology of Cellular Systems in Animals
  • Laboratory Techniques for Applied Biology
  • Analysis of Scientific Data and Information

Optional Units:

  • Laboratory Management
  • Work-based Investigation (this is mandatory for apprentices)
  • Neurophysiology and Homeostatic Control of the Human Body
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Applied Genetics of Industry, Agriculture and Medicine
  • Pharmacological Principles of Drug Actions
  • The Immune Response System
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Human Health and Nutrition
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Food Molecules, Additives and their Roles
  • Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
  • Ecological Principles and their Application
  • Environmental Management and Conservation
  • Chemistry for Applied Biologists
  • Biodiversity, Conservation and Threats
  • Statistics for Experimental Design
  • Plant Physiology and Environmental Adaptation
  • Quality Assurance and Quality Control
  • Management of Projects
  • Managing the Work of Individuals and Teams
  • Nanotechnology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Work-based Experience
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Employability Skills

Optional units are chosen in consultation with students and employers before starting the course.

Detailed descriptions of all units, which also include recommended resources for that unit, can be found via Pearson's website.

By taking 2 additional units, making 10 for the HNC and studying for a third year, candidates who wish to can convert their HNC Diploma into a HND Diploma by taking a further 6 units (16 units in total).

Entry Guidelines

Relevant academic qualifications, for example 2 A Levels (Grades A*-E), one of which must be Biology or a BTEC Level 3 Diploma/National Diploma in Applied Science which contains biology units.

Assessment Method

For each unit, students are assessed through coursework and practical assignments which contribute to a pass, merit or distinction grade for each unit. This qualification will have an overall grade of pass, merit or distinction.

Additional Information

The mode of delivery of this qualification depends on the number of students in the class.

For timetabled sessions, students will be based at the College's Twelve Quays Campus.

The College's term dates are available on our website. However, these may differ according to the programme's assessment calendar. Assessment calendars and timetables of study are typically available in respective course handbooks, accessible through the College Virtual Campus following enrolment.

Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications are designated Higher Education qualifications in the UK. They are aligned to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Subject Sector Benchmarks. These qualifications are part of the UK Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Where can I progress to?

This qualification enhances job opportunities in laboratory work and a range of related careers. It can also lead to more advanced Higher Education courses such as the Level 5 HND Diploma in Applied Biology and to a Level 5 Higher Level Apprenticeship in Life Sciences.

Explore potential careers via Career Match — it provides current local data on wages and employment prospects.

Apply Now

Starting 16th September 2020 - Ending - 29th June 2022REF S004M001

If you are aged 19 or over:

Fee : £5990.00

The fee quoted is for the academic year 2020-21.

For advice and guidance, please contact Student Services on 0151 551 7777 or call into our Conway Park Campus. Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11 to 4pm and Wednesdays 4 to 6.30pm (term time only).


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