Pearson BTEC HNC in Applied Sciences

The HNC in Applied Sciences (Biology) prepares you for employment in the science industry and provides you with the opportunity to gain entry to relevant Degree programmes. The learning experience is a combination of laboratory based training, field work, theoretical knowledge and e-learning. The programme incorporates a number of talks by experts from the industry and includes visits to industries, university laboratories, hospital laboratories and conservation areas.

Academic Year: 2022/23

Course Code: 10612

Campus: Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn, Newcastle

Study Type: Full-Time

Education Level Higher Education


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Course Structure

The HNC is made up of 8 units in total.

Modules will include:


Mandatory modules, totalling 90 credits, include

Fundamentals of Laboratory Techniques

Scientific Data Handling Approaches and Techniques

Regulation and Quality in the Applied Sciences

Cell Biology

Fundamentals of Chemistry

Anatomy and Human Physiology


Two optional Modules will be offered from the specification, to total 30 credits

Fundamentals of Biochemistry

Microbiological techniques

Contact Hours

Contact Hours per week

16.75 hours contact time to include practical classes, lectures, workshops or tutorials.

Mandatory Additional

Study Maximum of 3 hours per week average over the academic year.

Personal Study

22 hours maximum studying and preparing assessments in your own time per week, including use of online materials.

Entry Requirements

GCSE English

  • GCSE English Language Grade C or above OR Pass in Level 2 Essential Skills Literacy

GCSE Maths

  • GCSE Mathematics Grade C or above (no equivalency)

Other GCSE

  • Four passes at Grade C or above, 2 of which to include English (or equivalent) and Maths (must be GCSE Maths)


A minimum of 32 UCAS points including:

  • At least one A Level pass preferably in an appropriate subject (e.g. Chemistry or Biology) OR
  • Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science which must include two chemistry units: e.g.Chemistry for Biotechnicians and Industrial Chemical Reactions

Access Diploma

  • Access Diploma in Foundation Studies with an overall average of 60%-65% + and with one science module at a minimum of 60%

International Requirements

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
  • PTE 51
  • IELTS 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in all skills)
  • Or equivalent (Examples of equivalent qualifications would be a GCSE in English, Level 3 Programmes, Essential Skills in Literacy – Level 2, ESOL Level 2 or another qualifications gained at an Institution within the UK).


Successful completion of the Admissions Process


Provide evidence of ability to undertake the programme by meeting the requirements for the accreditation of prior experiential learning.  Further details on APEL can be found in the Admissions Section of our website.

How will I be assessed and given feedback?

Students are assessed using a range of different methods. These include time constrained assignments, coursework, Project Based Learning, presentations, practical, posters, leaflets, role-play, and case studies.  This is dependent on the requirements of each unit of study.  Oral, written and online feedback will be provided during your course to help improve and monitor performance

Where will it take me?

Successful completion of the HNC in Applied Sciences (Biology) prepares you for employment in the science industry and may provide you with the opportunity to complete a further year leading to the Level 5 HND in Applied Sciences (Biology) .Successful completion of the HNC may also enable you to progress to further study on the first year of a Degree course, for example BSc(Hons) Microbiology and Biological Science at Queen's University Belfast and Applied Biochemical Science.  With further study it may also lead to; BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy; BSc (Hons) Optometry and BSc(Hons) Radiography at Ulster University; BSc(Hons) Applied Biological Sciences and Marine Biology at Ulster University and; BSc(Hons) Environmental Science Degrees.

How will it make me more employable?

The HNC in Applied Sciences (Biology) provides a Nationally Recognised Qualification offering career progression and professional development for those already in employment and provides opportunities to progress to Higher Education.  Along with the vocational skills you will also develop employability skills through workshops such as teamwork, innovation and problem solving. You are encouraged to take up work placement in hospital labs, civil service labs, industries and educational sectors. It is the responsibility of the student to organise this work placement.


Additional Costs

As part of the course you will be expected to participate in field trips to Lough Neagh Discovery Centre which will incur travel costs (£15.00).  

Course and Provider regulated by Pearson.
Terms & Conditions

Students will be required to comply with SERC's Terms & Conditions of study.

We strive to ensure the description of courses on SERC's website and in publications is accurate. However, for various reasons there may be occasions when the College may need to change arrangements or be unable to deliver classes due to circumstances such as reduced funding. If there are insufficient numbers applying for a course it may not be viable to deliver the class.

In addition to the above Terms & Conditions students must also adhere to the following:

Students are required to:

  • Comply with College Policies and procedures.
  • Submit all coursework and assessments by specified dates, coursework submitted without consent after the deadline shall not normally be accepted.
  • Pass all modules in each year of study in order to proceed to the next year of the programme.

Available Sessions Summary

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Higher Education

Higher Education

If you have just completed your A-Levels, Higher Education is most likely the option for you. HE usually covers HNC, HND & Foundation Degree level of courses including our Higher Level Apprenticeships.

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