Focus on Science

Today’s BTECs are more focused, more aspirational and more relevant…….. BTECs are known to increase student engagement, enable students to progress, develop student life skills and add value and variety. Grantham College offer a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma/Diploma/Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Medical Science) which is taught in a range of highly equipped laboratories which are home to a range of up to date scientific practical equipment. There are dedicated labs for Biology, Chemistry and Physics which was newly built this year with SMART boards in all classrooms.

A team of six staff, with over 100 years of experience between them, pass on their knowledge, experience and skills to students studying on the BTEC courses. Staff have a wide range of degrees from a PhD in Genetics, Biochemistry, Physics, Applied Biology and Psychology having taken jobs with the NHS, a range of pharmaceutical companies and schools/colleges. One of the team is a qualified examiner whilst another is a STEM ambassador, of which both have a further wealth of knowledge

Students studying on any of the BTEC Science courses at Grantham College will gain practical and hands-on knowledge of the sector through trips, work experience and class tasks; tasks include distillations, chromatography and micro biology.

In the past students have gone to The Deep, in Hull, where their scientists have spoken to students about their work within the aquarium and their routes into the world of work. Student have also had the opportunity to visit a range of universities to access and use their labs. This year students took part in Gravity Fields, a unique festival which creatively explores the physical sciences through science and celebrates the area’s close links with one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Sir Isaac Newton, by listening to a lecture on space by Astronomer and TV Presenter Dr Chris Lintott

Progression to Higher Education……

On successful completion of any of the BTEC Science courses at Grantham College you can progress on to Higher Education, of which you can do with Grantham College on the HNC/ HND Applied Biology course. Previous BTEC Science students have been highly successful in gaining university places going on to study degree courses in Vetenary Science, Forensic Science, Biomedical Science, Human Genetics, Applied Biology, and Zoology at the likes of Nottingham Trent University, Northumbria University and The College of West Anglia.

Independent research on progression and career opportunities for young people in the UK demonstrates how BTECs open doors into Higher Education and beyond.

Figures based on research revealed in January 2011 from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that:

  • More than 100,000 BTEC students apply to Higher Education and make the university grade
  • In 2011, admissions to UK universities by BTEC students had risen 30% year on year
  • Ninety-five per cent of Higher Education Institutions accept BTEC students, including Russell Group universities
  • More than 50% of 20-30-year-olds going on to higher education are BTEC students
  • 20% of level 3 BTEC holders go on to undergraduate degree courses*
  • With a level 3 BTEC you can boost your lifetime’s earnings by up to £92,000.*

* Independent research carried out by London Economics in 2010.

The world of work…….

What’s it like working in the sector?

Graduates entering the science sector can expect:

  • a varied work environment depending on the area of science and the size of the company you work for. For example, a maintenance technician in oil and gas will be expected to work for two or three weeks on an offshore oil rig, followed by two or three weeks’ onshore leave;
  • a good starting salary. A lab technician working in pharmaceuticals can expect between £19,000 and £25,000 a year, whereas a science technician in the nuclear industry may demand £20,000 to £33,000 a year;
  • to work sociable hours. The majority of large companies promote healthy lifestyles and encourage sport and charity events to ensure workers stay happy.

There is also the opportunity to gain an apprenticeship within the Science sector. In recent years Grantham College has had two students from BTEC Science courses gain apprenticeships with Lloyds Pharmacy in their Sleaford and Newark branches.


What are the key issues in the science sector?

Climate change has emerged as a key issue in the sector over the last two decades. Companies involved in science-based activities are expected to think about their impact on the environment and scientists have to factor this into their research.

The science sector is one of the largest and most important in the UK.

There are more than 900,000 workers in the UK science industry, according to the 2011 Cogent Annual Report. They are employed in many areas of science, including:

  • chemical
  • nuclear
  • oil and gas
  • petroleum
  • polymers.

What graduate job can I do?

These job profiles are examples of graduate careers in the science sector:

  • Analytical chemist
  • Animal technologist
  • Clinical research associate
  • Colour technologist
  • Food technologist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Pharmacologist
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Research scientist (maths)
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Toxicologist.