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T Level science teams up with Southwest Pathology Services to support students

Food science and technology has a major role in driving innovation, product development and in sustaining the UK industry as a vibrant, important and growing sector. The food industry is worth over £1 billion to the UK economy.  It is a big employer in the South West of England offering significant opportunities.

To take advantage of these employment opportunities in this important sector, Strode College has launched a new Science Level 3 T Level qualification this year.  This qualification will enable students to choose a skilled occupation in this sector or go onto further study, for example, a higher degree apprenticeship, higher level technical study or higher education. 

Students will learn key knowledge and skills such as hazard analysis and critical control points in the food and drink industry, food safety management, technical and quality management, microbiology, product development, sustainability, food production, food supply chain and developing new and food related products.

Supporting the students, Strode College has built a range of stunning new student facilities with a £650,000 grant from the Government’s T Level Capital Fund. This has enabled the college to invest in a new purpose built laboratory, where students will learn and practice the necessary scientific skills required for this course. Set up as a professional laboratory rather than a classroom, students will have the opportunity to build practical and employability skills.

The T Level qualification requires students undertake 45 days of industrial placements in relevant industries, and Science T Levels have teamed up with Southwest Pathology Services to provide industry placement experiences for the 2021 and 2022 student cohort.

Formed in 2012, Southwest Pathology Services (SPS) is a joint venture between SYNLAB, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The partnership serves a population of around 500,000 and delivers services to the two Trusts and more than 100 GP practices.

Originally, there was a single site at each hospital with both undertaking similar urgent and non-urgent tests.  They have developed a central ‘hub’ laboratory in Taunton with an ‘essential services laboratory’ on each hospital site to provide urgent testing.

Southwest Pathology Services carries out more than 7.5 million tests each year, offering more than 1,400 different types of tests across the following disciplines:

  • Andrology
  • Clinical biochemistry
  • Cytopathology
  • Haematology and blood transfusion
  • Histopathology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology and infection control
  • Molecular biology
  • Virology

Ziggi Keill-Griffin, Strode College Level 3 Science T Level Program Manager, said: “SPS have offered several upcoming tours of their facilities for Strode Science T Level students and additionally the provisional offer of rotational placements at all three of their sites for the required 45 days. This is a fantastic opportunity for our Science T Level students and we are so pleased to be working with them.”

Designed in conjunction with businesses, the pioneering new T Level qualifications provide a great opportunity for young people to build real employability and workplace skills.

It’s not too late for students to apply for this course as applications can be made up to the end of September 2021. Visit for additional information on the course. Any students interested in a career in science or working in the food industry should contact Strode College Admissions team by emailing or telephone 01458 844453.

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