The Level 5 Laboratory Scientist apprenticeship programme represents a brand new way to study science that will appeal to a broader audience than traditional science degrees. The programme allows you to develop the core academic knowledge and specific practical skills, competencies and behaviours needed to succeed in your sector.
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This higher level apprenticeship is designed to support your progression to graduate employment in the scientific sector. It is suitable for school leavers and adults wishing to undertake work-based learning in a wide range of organisations including chemical, healthcare, bio-science, pharmaceutical, analytical services and research and development. It is also suitable for people already employed in scientific settings.
Most applicants will have a full Level 3 science qualification, such as a BTEC Diploma / Extended Diploma in Applied Science, two science A Levels, a Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship, or Access to HE Diploma. You will also need five GCSEs (or equivalent) including at least grade C in English and Maths. Other relevant prior experience may be considered as an alternative, particularly if your employer wishes to add a training element to your existing role in a scientific setting. You will be interviewed by both your prospective / current employer and College tutor.
This apprenticeship is an in-depth, highly practical approach to studying science at university level and provides a solid platform to becoming a Registered Scientist (RSci). In addition to your responsibilities at work you will complete a recognised Level 5 qualification – Higher National Diploma (HND) in Applied Biology or HND Applied Chemistry. Core modules will include:
- Laboratory Techniques for Applied Biology / Chemistry
- Analysis of Scientific Data and Information
- Project for Applied Science
- Biochemistry of Macromolecules and Metabolic Pathways
- Laboratory Management
You will also complete optional modules and depending on your specialist pathway these may have either a chemistry or biology focus. For example you may study:
- Pharmacological Principles of Drug Actions
- Neurophysiology and Control of the Human Body
- Molecular Biology and Genetics
- Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
- Genetics and Genetic Engineering
- Environmental Chemical Analysis
- Atomic and Nuclear Physics for Spectroscopic Applications
You will also complete an Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Working Safely Certificate.
Your apprenticeship will last two to three years, during which time you will be employed full-time in a scientific support role and attend college one day each week to complete a recognised Level 5 qualification. To support your learning you will also have access to cutting edge online resources including virtual laboratory simulations.
The Laboratory Scientist apprenticeship allows you to become specialised to match your interests and meet the needs of your employer. Subject to demand there are four pathways available:
- Analytical Science
- Chemical Science
- Research and Development
- Life Sciences
You will earn while you learn. There is significant demand for science professionals within Cornwall and further afield and very few scientific and technical employers will pay the minimum apprenticeship training rate of £3.50 per hour (under 19) or national minimum wage (over 19 and after the first year of apprenticeship training).
Pay and reward varies depending on the size and nature of the employer. It is very common for apprentices to be awarded salary increments on completion of modules to recognise progress.
An important feature of this programme is that it helps to keep your options open. On successful completion it is not necessary to complete further study to remain with your employer, however should you wish to you can choose to continue work-based learning with a part-time BSc top-up, or move sideways to a full-time one year BSc top-up in a college or university.
Uniquely, if you wish to remain in full-time employment and continue to study science to postgraduate level, Cornwall College are able to offer progression from the Level 5 Apprenticeship through a part-time undergraduate science degree to a part-time taught or research Master’s degree. Should you wish to continue university level study after your apprenticeship you will need to fund your Higher Education tuition fees, usually through taking out a student loan.
*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility.