NC Applied Sciences at SCQF level 5

The NC in Applied Sciences at SCQF level 5 is designed to introduce the industry to candidates and focuses on the areas of three science disciplines: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Course is designed to equip candidates with the hard and soft skills required in the applied sciences industry. It allows candidates to develop their scientific knowledge and skills through the investigative science and numeracy Units, and to increase skills important for employment. The Unit ‘Science and Technology in Society’ has been added to develop the candidate’s ability to evaluate scientific developments in relationship to everyday life.

The NC will give candidates an overview of the applied sciences industry and offer candidates the opportunity to progress into further education and employment.

This qualification is available through colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

The NC in Applied Sciences at SCQF level 5 is designed to provide an introductory science course for candidates with limited qualifications in Science who wish to develop their knowledge, skills and interest in the discipline. The NC deals with the three sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Biology, and achievement of the qualification will help candidates to find employment in the science industry or progress to further study.

Who does this qualification suit

The NC in Applied Sciences at SCQF level 5 is designed for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners
  • those employed in the science industry


Access is at the discretion of the centre. Admission to the NC in Applied Sciences should be based on a broad approach to candidate selection but, at the same time, should ensure that candidates are chosen who have the potential and ability to complete the qualification successfully.


The NC in Applied Sciences at SCQF level 5 has been designed to enable a candidate to progress to the SCQF level 6 qualification. Similarly, successful completion of the SCQF level 6 NC would enable a candidate to progress to an HNC Applied Science course.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

Assessment of the NC in Applied Sciences at SCQF level 5 is a combination of end of Unit tests, end of Unit assessments and practical assignments. Assessment guidance is provided for each Unit. The Assessment Support Packs contain sample assessment materials.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code: G90M 45 (72 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 5

Candidates must achieve ten mandatory Units and two optional Units. Two of the three science areas are to be selected.


Electricity and Electronics — D380 11
Mechanics and Heat — D379 11
Radioactivity — D382 11
Waves and Optics D381 11


Acids, Bases and Metals D068 11
Building Blocks — D066 11
Carbon Compounds — D067 11


Animal Physiology — D028 11
Environmental Biology and Genetics — D027 11
Living Cells — D026 11


Managing Environmental Resources
Ecosystems — D310 11
Local Environment — D314 11
Natural Resource Use — D312 11


Biotechnology Processes — DF5G 11
The Biology of Micro-organisms — DF5F 11
Working with Micro-organisms — D039 11

Mandatory Units

Numeracy Intermediate 1 — D01C 10
Science and Technology in Society — F3TA 10
Science Investigation Skills — F3TB 11

Science Practical Skills — F3TC 10 

Arrangements Documents

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary

Qualifications Support Team (QST) - Action Grids

Any other information

The NC in Applied Science at SCQF level 5 contains practical laboratory Units. These should be taken into account if distance learning is proposed. Assessment requirements are included in the Unit specifications.

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