T Levels are new courses that follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A Levels. They’ve been co-created by the industry you want to be a part of, so you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to leap ahead of the crowd and into your desired career. They are assessed by a mixture of exams and practical activities, so better for those students who struggle with end of course assessment. You can find more information on T Levels here.
T Level Laboratory Sciences
T Level Laboratory Sciences is aimed at students who are interested in pursuing a career in laboratory science. The core element of a T Level in Science will boost your knowledge in a range of topics such as the principles of good scientific and clinical practice, as well as fundamental scientific concepts; not to mention your understanding of standard operating procedures, management of equipment and work areas, stock control and storage, the importance of quality standards, health and safety. And as the science industry is so innovative, you will gain a better understanding of the world around you.
You will then specialise in Laboratory Sciences understanding how to design and perform experiments, keep good records and problem solve when things go wrong.
Finally, you will be able to put everything you learn into practice, with a substantial industry placement of around 45 days. Giving you an amazing opportunity to work with an employer while you study, such as a chemical, pharmaceutical or biotechnology company, and gain invaluable experience as well as key skills that employers are looking for.
In Years 12 and 13 the students follow the NCFE specification.
There are 3 components to the T Level course: The Core Content, Occupational Specialism; and Industry placement.
Core content covers:
Being able to engage with and produce scientific literature (both written and oral).
Be able to identify your role within a wider team and understand what your responsibilities are.
Be able to create experiments and look at existing experiments to improve them by innovation and evaluation.
To be able to solve problems in a scientific context.
Be able to perform a range of scientific techniques to collect experimental data in a laboratory setting, complying with regulations and requirements and then analyse and evaluate results.
Core scientific knowledge.
In addition to the knowledge above the students must also learn and be able to perform a wide range of scientific techniques and use a wide range of scientific equipment from all disciplines.
Occupational Specialism :
Will enable you to perform the following techniques, plan experiments with them, analyse data generated and evaluate the results:
- paper and thin layer chromatography (TLC)
- acid-base and redox titration
- differential staining (microorganisms)
- aseptic culture of microorganisms
- preparation of serial dilution
- prepare a solution of defined molar concentration
- pressure using a U-tube manometer
- temperature using a probe and data logger
- radioactive count rate using Geiger counter
- conductivity meter to measure conductivity of a solution
- electrical polarity using ammeter and voltmeter
- calibrating a pH Meter, balance and a mechanical (variable volume) pipette
Understand safety, health and environmental practices in laboratory science.
You will understand how laboratory equipment should be maintained and calibrated to generate valid results and be able to recognise errors and identify faults.
You will know how laboratory records should be kept.
Be able to apply the principles of the ‘Universal Ethical Code for Scientists 2007’ and know how it affects ethical practices in a laboratory setting.
In addition to the core content you will also have knowledge of the following areas:
Application of maths to science
All T Level students will complete a 3 month pavement working in the laboratories of one of our partner organisations, such as Addenbrooke's Hospital or the Medical Research Councils Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
There are 3 components to the T Level course: The Core Content, Occupational Specialism; and Industry Placement, to achieve the T Level you must pass/complete all three, each is assessed in a different way. The overall grade is calculated from these.
Core Content is assessed by 2 written exam papers and an employer set project.
Paper A Written examination: Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Paper B Written examination: Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
110 marks inclusive of 8 to 10 marks for maths (plus 9 marks for Quality of Written Communication) = 119 marks total
This paper is composed of 4 sections:
Section A: multiple choice questions, short-answer and extended writing, 45 marks
Section B: multiple choice questions, short-answer and extended writing, 27 marks
Section C: multiple choice questions, short-answer and extended writing, 18 marks
Section D: multiple choice questions, short-answer and extended writing, 20 marks
Employer Set Project is an externally-set (in conjunction with employers) project: Duration: 18hours
The purpose of the employer-set project is to ensure that students have the opportunity to apply core knowledge and skills to develop a substantial piece of work in response to an employer-set brief. The brief and tasks are
contextualised around an occupational area and chosen by the student ahead of the assessment window.
Occupational Specialism is assessed by synoptic assessment: Duration: 16 hours
Synoptic assignments comprise 3 assessments covering:
Performing a range of appropriate scientific techniques to collect experimental data in a laboratory setting, complying with regulations and requirements
Plan, review, implement and suggest improvements to scientific tasks relevant to a laboratory setting
Identify and resolve issues with scientific equipment or data errors
Industry Placement must be completed.
Where could this course take me?
Following a T Level, you could progress straight into a skilled profession or continue your studies with a degree or higher apprenticeship. The course is ideal for those wanting a career in practical laboratory work.