Applied Human Biology has been added to My Courses


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Please note:

This seems to be a popular choice! This course is now full for 2024/25 and so you will not be able apply for it as one of your course choices.

However, you can join our waiting list for this course by emailing us at

In the meantime, please apply for an alternative course to go alongside your other choices. If a place becomes available, we will contact you and discuss whether you want to swap to this course back into your programme.  

As course choices change and students shuffle around, it is very unusual for students to remain on waiting lists and not get onto all of their first choice courses by the beginning of term. We will keep you updated!

Biology is one of the most popular subjects in the country, attracting students studying a wide range of other subjects. BTEC is an established and highly successful, alternative qualification which is designed to provide learners with a more practical, real-world approach to learning together with specialist knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare them for employment or higher education.

Please note: the GCSE Applied Science or BTEC Level 2 Applied Science qualifications are not an acceptable entry qualification for this course. 


Course content

Year 1

Unit One: Principles of Applied Human Biology

  • Cells, tissues and biological molecules
  • The Nervous, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Digestive and Excretory systems
  • Cellular injury and repair
  • Diagnostic techniques
  • Immune responses, dysfunction and diagnosis
  • Gene expression, genetic disorders and diagnosis

 Unit Two: Practical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

  • Characteristics of different microorganisms and Classification strategies
  • Methods of pathogenicity
  • Classification overview of infectious disease
  • Transmission of infectious agents
  • Infectious diseases, signs, symptoms and progression
  • Prevention and treatment of infectious diseases
  • Health and safety
  • Microscopy and staining techniques and culture of microorganisms
  • Quantitative analysis of microbes, interpretation and evaluation
  • Investigating the substances that inhibit the growth of microorganisms


Year 2

Unit Three: Human Biology and Health Issues

  • Understanding health issues and associated initiatives and research
  • Understanding the influence of organisations/individuals on health issues
  • Interpret, analyse and evaluate scientific information
  • Understand how health issues and initiatives are reported in different media and for different audiences

Unit Seven: Biomedical Science

  • The components of blood and changes to blood components and composition
  • Diagnostic techniques used in haematology
  • Tissue investigation and consequences of diagnosis
  • Role of informatics and record keeping
  • Urine composition and Urinalysis

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is tutored by well-qualified Science specialists. The delivery of the course is through a mixture of theory lessons, practical work, independent study, group work and assignment research. This course is suited to students who are well organized and can take responsibility for their own learning and meet deadlines.

Method of Assessment

Units Two and Seven are assessed by coursework assignments with multiple criteria to address.

Unit One is externally assessed with a formal exam in January of year 1.

Unit Three is also an externally assessed exam in January of year 2.

For both of the external exams there is the opportunity for students to improve grades by retaking the exams.


Visits have included trips to Filton for a tour of the NHSBT Blood Centre and the chance to see the work of specialist laboratory technicians. There are also a variety of talks from visiting speakers.

What students say…

“Fantastic teaching; requires a lot of work outside of College but you will always receive outstanding guidance. If you put the effort in you will succeed and gain a brilliant qualification.”

“This course has a great practical approach with plenty of opportunities to be creative with your work…it makes a great change from exams and essay writing.”

“It allows you to understand more about the world in general and the world of biology itself. It also prepares you for further education.” 

“BTEC Human Biology really helped me to become more organised…it is the best course out of my options.”


The Science curriculum area has well-equipped laboratories serviced by a team of science technicians. All laboratories have computers linked to the College network and the internet. Students are able to use the College Learning Resource Centre (LRC) together with the extensive computer suites. The LRC is well stocked with books, journals and has Internet facilities.


A BTEC National Extended Certificate in Applied Human Biology provides an opportunity for students to gain a nationally recognised qualification which will enable them to enter employment in a science related area, or progress to Higher Education. Former students have progressed onto courses in nursing, midwifery, sports science, sports therapy, occupational therapy, early childhood and health and social care.

Where can this course lead?

Apply for this course

Find out how to apply for BTEC L3 Applied Human Biology.

Applied Human Biology has been added to My Courses