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Technician Scientist

Course Code: A5031900-P1

Level: 5
Subject area: Science

Qualification: Apprenticeship
Course type: Full-time
Time of Day: Daytime
Duration: Typically 36 months
When you'll study: One day a week (to be negotiated with employer)

About the course

A technician scientist carries out established laboratory-based investigations and basic scientific experimentation using bench and instrumentation techniques. They use a range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills following well-established principles associated with their organisation’s science and technology, which may typically be within chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, formulated products or analytical services.

The broad purpose of the occupation is working at the forefront of technology to carry out both routine and one-off laboratory testing (and manufacturing where relevant) and perform a variety of technical support functions across the organisation.

They carry out routine lines of enquiry, development or investigation taking responsibility for the quality of the work they undertake. They work safely and ethically often under highly regulated conditions because of the need to control quality and safety of scientific products.  They critically evaluate appropriateness of commonly used approaches to solving routine problems, using a range of approaches to formulate evidence-based responses to defined and routine problems and issues within their area of work. They also contribute to solutions to problems within the wider scientific team, using appropriate project management procedures. They perform record-keeping and checks and use data capture systems relevant to the technical and scientific procedures that they use. They analyse relevant scientific information, interpret and evaluate data, prepare results and provide progress updates of their work. They manage resources within a clearly defined area.

Within this Apprenticeship, you will receive off-the-job training at City College Plymouth one day a week, during term-time, to give you the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the industry. You will also receive direct training from the business you are employed by for your Apprenticeship who will work with the College to ensure you are reaching your maximum potential via regular workplace observations and reviews.

What you'll learn

Key duties and skills will include: 

  • perform laboratory-based investigations and basic scientific experimentation using the appropriate scientific techniques, procedures and methods of relevance to the activities of the laboratory
  • comply with the quality standards, safe working practices, environment and risk management systems relevant to the workplace
  • explain the main concepts of the scientific principles according to the literature applicable to the laboratory-based techniques and scientific experimentation used in the laboratory.
  • contribute to the development of new processes and methodologies and support their implementation as part of a wider team
  • work with minimal supervision to produce and analyse scientific data and present the results of laboratory work and problem solving clearly and concisely in written and oral form
  • use computer-based data analysis tools including spreadsheets and relevant company software packages
  • plan and prioritise own tasks, review and evaluate progress against objectives and project plans as part of a wider project team
  • contribute to recommendations on the appropriate workflows, improvements or scientific solutions to meet the requirements of internal or external customers
  • find solutions to routine and non-routine problems and contribute to developing solutions to complex problems using techniques such as root cause analysis
  • contribute to continuous performance improvement within the scientific and technical environment
  • communicates effectively using a full range of skills: speaking to a scientific and non-scientific audience, active listening, professional writing, and scientific presentation
  • works with minimal supervision and interacts effectively within a wide, scientific team
  • manages time effectively, being able to plan and complete work to schedule with thoroughness and attention to detail.
Entry requirements

You will need to have achieved appropriate academic or vocational qualifications at Level 3 (eg: A Levels, BTEC Extended Diploma or Access to HE Diploma). Alternatively, an appropriate Level 4 qualification in Science would be suitable (eg: HNC).

Other relevant or prior experience may also be considered as an alternative.


In order to complete this Apprenticeship you will undertake study to complete a Higher National Diploma over 36 months. After this you will be eligible for end-point assessment to include a workplace problem-solving project and vocational competence evaluation log. 

This Apprenticeship has an expected duration of 36 months, however, this may vary depending on your readiness to sit the end-point assessment.

What's next?

This Apprenticeship will allow you to gain full-time employment as a technician scientist within the scientific industry. This would also give you the foundation to build a career in this sector and work up to a team leader position and higher roles within management.

Other job roles could include: analytical support chemist, technical support scientist, microbiology support scientist, process development technologist, laboratory assistant, senior laboratory technician, assistant scientist, technical specialist  (scientist), quality control laboratory assistant, laboratory co-ordinator, technical laboratory assistant, laboratory analyst, laboratory research assistant.

Important information

By applying for this position you will go through the College’s assessment procedure and once successful, you will be assigned a Business Engagement Officer who will guide you into employment by supporting you to find the best-suited workplace.

Whether or not you've got a work placement lined up, you can apply for and start an Apprenticeship at any time. We'll work with you to make sure you're on the right career path and help match you with a suitable employer. Just complete an application form.