Science Career Pathway | STEM Grammar Stream Pathways | STEM Grammar Stream | UnitedCollege6f | Swindon Academy

Science Career Pathway

Core Subjects

Students must select a minimum of 2 core subjects, but can study all four if desired.

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Pure Maths

Complimentary Subjects

Students need to study 4 subjects in total, so they will need to top up their core subjects with complementary subjects.  For example, if a student selects 3 core subjects, they will only need to select 1 complementary subject to study.

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Geography
  • Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Philosophy
  • English
  • History
  • Further Maths
  • Spanish

Supra-Curricular Activities

Career-related workshops and talks - from Scientists in different fields

Subject related competitions and activities - Rotary Technology Tournament, Nuffield Research Programme. University of Cambridge Competition for Lower Sixth (C3L6), as well as the Royal Society of Chemistry Olympiad, The Physics Olympiad and the Biology Olympiad

Ecology course at Marlborough College

Trips to a BP site, and a ‘Spectroscopy in a Suitcase’ activity day.

University masterclasses and conferences – Pathways to Bristol Biological (details below) and Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry and Physics

Extended Project Qualification - All students on the Medicine Programme must take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in Year 12. The EPQ is a standalone qualification designed to extend and develop students’ skills in independent research and project management. The EPQ is awarded UCAS points worth half an A-level and is recognised by universities and employers.  Some leading universities, such as Southampton University, make alternative offers to students undertaking an EPQ. The EPQ requires students to carry out research on a topic that they have chosen and is not covered by their other qualifications. They then use this research to produce a written report and, in the case of practical projects, an artefact or a production.

Nuffield Summer Research Placements - If students wish to apply for a summer placement with Nuffield Research, we will support them in completing their application.  Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and delivered by STEM Learning, placements are engaging, hands-on research projects, where students have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution towards the work of a host organisation. They are a fantastic opportunity for students to apply skills and knowledge learned at school and work alongside researchers and industry professionals.  More information on the placements is available at:

Access to Bristol Scheme - As part of this career pathway students will be supported to apply to the Access to Bristol Scheme. The Access to Bristol Scheme is for students taking A-level and BTECs courses. Taking part shows a commitment to further study that will strengthen their application when they apply to university. On completion, they will be guaranteed a contextual offer/interview from Bristol, a top-ten UK University (QS World University Rankings 2020).

Students attend a series of sessions, held at the University on Wednesday afternoons during the autumn or spring term. They will choose to study one subject stream from a selection, representing many of the degree subjects available at Bristol.

Students will get an idea of what it is like to study at the University of Bristol, working with academics and current students who can offer advice and guidance about higher education and their subject area.

Please note: students are NOT guaranteed a place on this scheme, but we will support them with their application and transport them to sessions.

Depending on the course that students are studying, they can elect to apply for one of the schemes below:

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

This stream is suitable for students studying chemistry and a second science or mathematics at A-level. The Biological and Biomedical Sciences stream is a brand new, unique combination that allows students to experience 4 out of the 5 Faculty of Life Sciences subject areas. This stream explores the human disciplines of physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, biochemistry, cellular and molecular medicine as well and the animal and plant focused ones within biological sciences. Students will learn more about the human body, its structure and function, what can go wrong and how drugs work to prevent and treat disease. The principles discovered in the lab are put into practice so students gain an understanding of how the body works as a molecular, cellular, organ and on a whole-body level to help them understand disease and develop new treatments, for instance to a new virus.


This stream is only open to students currently studying chemistry. This stream is designed to give students a taste of what it is like to study chemistry at university in one of the UK’s most popular departments. Students will have the opportunity to work in world class undergraduate laboratories alongside leading research scientists. Bristol chemists work at the forefront of a wide range of areas, from developing new pharmaceuticals that fight disease, to advancing forensic science methods and understanding and preventing the causes of climate change. As a student on the Access to Bristol scheme, you will have the unique opportunity to study alongside staff who are leading experts in these diverse fields and find out more about where a degree in chemistry could take you. There will be a strong emphasis on practical work in their laboratories, supplemented by lecture-based sessions. Students will get hands-on experience working at ChemLabS, the UK’s only Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning devoted to chemistry. Working with their research chemists, students will see and hear about some of the most cutting-edge chemistry being produced at Bristol.


This stream is only open to students studying maths and physics. Physics looks at matter on both the very small and very large scales. On this stream, researchers from the School of Physics will introduce you to their work, with subjects ranging from superconductivity to the formation of astronomical objects. The School of Physics has active experimental research groups in particle physics, astrophysics, condensed matter physics, nanoscience and quantum information. The Theoretical Physics group has a wide range of research interests, many of which are related to the experimental work of the school. The Physics stream of Access to Bristol will include both lecture-based and hands-on experimental activities in our £7 million refurbished teaching labs, designed to give you an insight into as many areas of our research as possible, and allow you the opportunity to question some of our current students about studying physics at university


This stream is only open to students studying maths and another maths-related subject (biology; chemistry; computer science; economics; physics). Mathematics is the key to the sciences. It provides many of the tools used in research and management as well as being a powerful means of communicating ideas and solving problems. This stream will offer students an opportunity to develop the skills Bristol University looks for in Mathematics applicants, and also to see how the subject develops as students progress from A-level to university. Each session will contain a mixture of lectures and activities. Lectures will cover areas of general mathematical interest. There will also be considerable student activity. A range of topics are covered that represent the research interests and specialisms of the department, for example, proofs, group theory, cryptography. Students will come away with an overview of what mathematics is like at university level, an understanding of how it differs from other STEM subjects, and knowledge of how to enhance their UCAS application.

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If you have any questions about the Science Pathway, please contact Mrs Dodsworth via email at: to arrange a time for a conversation.

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