Medical Science

Applied Diploma Level 3

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Availability & Details

Medical Science, Level 3 Applied Diploma AF-MESC3S-D(0000)000

Alton Campus

Type of study

Academic Year 2021-22 (2 years)

Examination board

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How to apply

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Medical Science is the science of dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of diseases. Medical scientists are at the forefront of healthcare services, as they are vital in the diagnosis of disease, determining the effectiveness of treatments and searching for new cures.

The main purpose of the qualification is to provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills in key scientific principles to support progress to higher education or employment in areas of Medical Science, such as job roles in physiological sciences or clinical laboratory services. This could include microscopic examination of tissue samples, analysis of blood cells to investigate anaemia or analysis of samples to identify the cause of an infection. The qualification covers the key topic areas of health, physiology and disease, as well as providing the opportunity to study the areas of pharmacology, physiological measurement, clinical testing and medical research. 


You should have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4. It is essential that you have gained grade 5 in two of the following – Biology, Chemistry or Science.

As well as Biology, part of the course will include Chemistry and Mathematics. You do not need to follow these subjects at A Level, although a grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics is preferred. As there is a communication aspect to the assessments and lots of new terminology to learn, grade 5 in English is also recommended.

Year 1

1. Human Health and Disease

This unit develops knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology. The unit will develop your understanding of the function of organ systems and some problems that can occur in these systems. It will enable you to understand the normal functioning of the body at a cellular and physiological system level. You will learn how these systems react in different situations, and how these systems can go wrong in order to report on the health of individuals.

2. Physiological Measurement Techniques

This unit develops your knowledge and understanding of the physiological measurements that can be made to assess the function of major body systems. It relates anatomy and physiology to physiological measurement test results, through an understanding of the principles of the measurement techniques. It will enable you to perform tests which will accurately measure a range of physiological functions. You will be able to interpret the results of these tests and other tests and link this to possible physiological disorders.

3. Medical Science Research Methods

This unit develops your knowledge and understanding of planning, conducting and reporting of research in medical sciences, using a range of methodologies and techniques. It is intended to enable the acquisition of the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out research in order to obtain meaningful information. It also seeks to promote an understanding of the processes involved in drawing meaningful inferences from research data. You will use your knowledge and understanding of research methods to conduct your own research. You will process the data you have collected and make evidence-based conclusions.

Year 2

4. Medicines and Treatment of Disease

This unit develops your knowledge and understanding of the science of medicines and how they work through their interactions with body systems. It also introduces cancer, its relationship to genetics, and the range of therapeutic treatments available. It will enable you to provide information to a range of audiences on how medicines work, to bring about effective treatment of diseases and disorders.

5. Clinical Laboratory Techniques

This unit develops your knowledge and understanding of the clinical laboratory techniques that can be used to assess body functions. It relates knowledge and understanding of human physiology and biochemistry to clinical measurement test results through an understanding of the principles of the measurement techniques. It will enable you to perform tests which will accurately measure a range of biochemical and microbiological parameters. You will be able to interpret the results of your tests and other test results and link these results to possible physiological disorders.

6. Medical Case Study

This unit is the overall synoptic unit for the Diploma qualification. It provides the opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of the connections between the other five units of this Medical Science qualification. The content of this unit requires you to apply skills, techniques, knowledge, understanding and concepts from across the qualification content in order to complete the required assessment. The assessment provides integrated and purposeful contexts in which you will demonstrate the knowledge, understanding and skills you have developed through all the other units within the qualification. The contexts provided are medical case studies, which require you to analyse the information provided and develop a thorough assessment of the situation based on your knowledge and understanding gained from the other units of this qualification.


You will be taught in large, well-equipped science laboratories and you will learn using a range of activities which will include laboratory experiments, research for assignments, class debates, group work, presentations and teacher-led activities. You will develop transferable skills that will enable you to progress to a career in medical science. These skills will include practical manipulation (collection of precise/reliable quantitative and qualitative data following codes of practice), mathematical (presenting data using recognised conventions and processing data using statistical tests, identification of anomalous data leading to correct diagnosis), research (controlling variables, using appropriate sampling techniques and completing ethical reviews, measuring uncertainty, analysing and evaluating data) and effective communication of information in an appropriate style eg to colleagues and patients.

In the first year, there will be one external 2 hour exam at the end of the year (Unit 1) and two internally marked controlled assessments (Units 2 and 3).

In the second year, there will be one external 90 minute exam at the end of the year (Unit 6), one internally marked controlled assessment (Unit 4) and one externally marked controlled assessment (Unit 5).

The external exams will be synoptic so the Unit 1 exam will also contain questions on Units 2 and 3. The Unit 6 exam will also contain questions on Units 4 and 5. Four weeks before the Unit 6 exam you will receive information about three different case studies which you will be examined on.

Optional trips, starting at £10.

You will complete the Applied Certificate in the first year and then the Applied Diploma in the second year. A significant proportion of career opportunities in this sector are at degree level. When supported by other appropriate qualifications, the Level 3 Applied Diploma in Medical Science will enable you to progress to a range of Applied Science programmes, such as biomedical science, life sciences and physiology at Higher Education.

We have excellent links with Portsmouth, Southampton and Surrey Universities. We visit their laboratories and invite guest speakers. This course will be taught by Biology teachers with a wealth of practical experience of working in industrial and hospital laboratories.

My experience with the teaching and support was really well, as I’m dyslexic, they helped me a lot and I’ve achieved good grades, so I’m really pleased.

Thomas McCann, A Level student

College is definitely worth all the effort you put in, you get to meet lots of different people and it’s amazing.

Ebony Puttock, A Level student

There are lots of people at the college, each studying a diverse range of courses, people from all different areas come to study here, it creates a sense of community, there is a huge social aspect to college life across all courses.

Lee Backhouse, BTEC student