STEM at Varndean

With the opening of our new £2.9m STEM Centre in September 2020, Varndean College is at the forefront to offer those students wishing to pursue a career in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, the finest opportunity to progress to the next stage of their careers.

Through our STEM teaching, we encourage students to move on to higher level STEM courses and into a STEM career. These students will hopefully go on to work on some of the biggest developments of the 21st Century.

STEM subjects are the foundations of the industrial and corporate world and the students who study these subjects will gain a diverse and comprehensive skill set. As such, these subjects present a high currency for universities and are also sought after by a wide range of employers.

STEM skills are essential and not only contribute to the UK's manufacturing and research output, but they also offer exciting opportunities in emerging technologies. The promotion of these subjects is intended to "help empower future generations through science, technology, engineering and mathematics to grow a dynamic, innovative economy."

Varndean College is particularly keen to encourage a greater involvement in STEM by all students and, in particular, we want to see more female students studying and working in this area. Students and staff can now benefit from our new expansive two-storey centre; housing four huge impressive science labs, six teaching rooms, generously sized prep rooms, a fabulous central atrium, as well as accessible facilities for students with disabilities.

We offer a range of STEM subjects: A Level Biology, Chemistry,Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, as well as Level 3 BTEC Diplomas in Applied Biology, Engineering and Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation. The rigorous academic framework of these subjects, combined with the requisite technical and practical skills developed during the course of study, make them ideal choices for those with enquiring minds and are the foundation stones for a number of important career routes.

New for 2022, Varndean is also offering the Level 3 Carbon Literacy Qualification for those students who wish to enhance their CV or university application. This nationally recognised, self-study, short course designed in partnership with the Manchester Metropolitan University, enables students to gain a complete overview of the science of climate change and understand the actions required of the Government, organisations and individuals.

I've really enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of Chemistry and Maths and discovering new things in Biology. I believe there's virtually no limit when it comes to learning new things. I've also liked how all the subjects I've studied are interconnected and how everything I learn can be effectively seen by many different perspectives. I'm now planning to study Neuroscience at Bristol University and in the future would like to be able to open my own lab and pursue a career in research, both as a scientist and as an entrepreneur.

Omar Abd El Maboud, Varndean College 2018-21, Neuroscience at University of Bristol

Explore our subjects


If you are fascinated by life and living processes then biology is the subject for you. It will help you to develop a much more detailed scientific knowledge and understanding of the subject.


Why you would study Chemistry? Chemistry has worldwide impact. As a fundamental physical science it has a lasting effect on our planet and will be needed to help tackle the challenges society faces in changes to environment food security and energy supply.


What is Physics? Basically Physics tries to explain how the universe works as simply as possible but no simpler. From Quarks to Quasars Physics is all about understanding and predicting nature. Together we will look at how our world (and beyond) behaves and try to make sense of it

Computer Science

Computer Science is a subject that spans theory and practice. You will become a confident programmer using different languages to solve problems. We will apply Computational Thinking to decompose larger problems into smaller ones and use a range of techniques to solve them.


Mathematics is an essential tool for everyday life. It gives you an important key to understanding the world we live in as you develop your mathematical skills

Applied Biology

If you enjoyed Biology at school and want to increase your specialist knowledge and understanding in a practical context that closely tracks the science that professionals use in the workplace then this is the course for you.


If you are interested in Engineering then this course is for you! It is a modular course with a mixture of exams and project work and if you combine this with other suitable qualifications it will allow you to progress to your dream career in engineering.

Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation

If you enjoy science at school and want to increase your specialist knowledge and understanding of forensic investigation and criminology this is the course for you!

Carbon Literacy Qualification

The Carbon Literacy Qualification (CLQ) is a nationally recognised self-study short course designed in partnership with the Manchester Metropolitan University.


I've really enjoyed being able to understand how the world around us works, from the smallest of microorganisms and subatomic particles to entire species, planets, galaxies and the laws of our universe. I gained so much knowledge during my two years at Varndean, it's unbelievable. I think my life would have been significantly different had I not gone there.

Danny Duffill, Varndean College 2017-19; Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London