The Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship programme represents a brand new way to study science that will appeal to a broader audience than traditional science degrees.
This apprenticeship is an in-depth, practical approach to studying science and provides a solid platform to becoming a registered science technician.
Working with you, we will develop the core academic knowledge and specific practical skills, competencies and behaviours needed to succeed in the sector.
You will earn while you learn. There is significant demand for science technicians within Cornwall and further afield and the programme offers a unique set of possible progression routes. These include starting one of many full-time undergraduate science degrees available or remaining in full-time employment and continuing to study science to postgraduate level.
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This course is for anybody with a keen interest in science and a desire to gain the skills and knowledge needed to start a rewarding career as a professional laboratory technician. The Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship is suitable for both adults and learners aged 16 – 18. It is also suitable for people currently employed in scientific settings.
You will need five GCSEs (or equivalent), which must include at least grade 4 / C in English, Maths and Science. You must have a strong interest in science and must demonstrate the required attitude, behaviours and interpersonal skills needed by your employer. You will be interviewed by both your prospective employer and College tutor.
In addition to your responsibilities at work you will complete a recognised Level 3 qualification - BTEC Diploma in Applied Science. Core modules will include:
- Principles and Applications of Science I and II
- Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques
- Science Investigation Skills
- Laboratory Techniques and their Application
- Investigative Project
You will also complete optional modules and depending on your workplace setting these may have either a chemistry or biology focus. For example you may study:
- Practical Chemical Analysis
- Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
- Biological Molecules and Metabolic Pathways
- Genetics and Genetic Engineering
You will also complete an Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Working Safely Certificate.
Your apprenticeship will typically last two years, during which time you will be employed full-time in a laboratory setting and attend college one day each week to complete a recognised Level 3 (A-level equivalent) qualification. To support your learning you will also have access to cutting edge online resources including virtual laboratory simulations.
Laboratory technicians work in a wide range of organisations including chemical, healthcare, bioscience, pharmaceutical, analytical services and research and development. You may also work within an educational setting to support research and teaching at a university or school.
You will earn while you learn. There is significant demand for science technicians 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).
For example, Level 3 Laboratory Science Technician Apprentices employed in Biosciences at the University of Exeter receive a competitive salary between £12,000 and £19,000 per year with 39 days paid holiday.
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 and you can choose to continue work-based learning or move sideways to traditional full or part-time university level study. For example, you may progress to a L5 (Higher) Laboratory Science Apprenticeship with your current or a new employer, or you can start one of the many full-time undergraduate science degrees available in Cornwall and beyond.
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 all the way from the Level 3 Apprenticeship through a Higher Apprenticeship, part-time undergraduate science degree and part-time taught or research Master’s degree.
*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.