Computer Science - A Level
Computers and technology are an integral part of our lives, shaping virtually everything from the objects around us to the ways in which we communicate, travel, work, and play. Learning core skills in problem solving and logical thinking, Computer Science has broad applications, providing opportunities to study a wide range of courses, opening all sort of career routes in science, medicine, business, engineering and computing.
Computer Scientists are shaping the future, with new architectures and techniques revolutionising how we interact with technology and how technology impacts our lives. At the forefront of one of the most dynamic, fast moving and innovative sectors in the world, learn skills that could enable you to enact positive change. Computer Science is a highly regarded subject, with increasing demand for talented graduates to undertake careers in Computer Science.
A Level Computer Science gives access to Higher Education/degree courses in Computer Science, Software Engineering and related subjects as well as being recognised as an excellent starting point for a career in many areas of Computing, Science and Business.
Over this course, you will learn how to programme, including software development and problem solving skills, and study key theoretical concepts such as data representation, networks, computer architecture and the theory of computation. These provide an excellent foundation on which to study Computer Science and many other courses at university.
Amongst many benefits, the course is designed to encourage students to:
• Work co-operatively to solve problems
• Develop personal learning and thinking skills
• Provide quality computer program solutions
• Develop an awareness of developments in technology
• Understand how computers work at a low level
- Fundamentals of programming
- Fundamentals of data structures
- Software development
- Theory of Computation
- Fundamentals of data representation
- Fundamentals of computer systems
- Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
- Consequences of uses of computing
- Fundamentals of communication and networking
- Fundamentals of databases
- Big Data
- Fundamentals of functional programming
- Systematic approach to problem solving
- Non – Exam assessment – the computing practical project
- On-screen exam : 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A Level
- Written exam : 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A Level
- Non-exam assessment - 20% of A Level
Students sit examinations in their A Level courses at the end of Year 13. All students will take internal end of year examinations at the end of year 12 to determine suitability to continue with the subject in Year 13. Students who do not meet the required pass grade in the Year 12 end of year examinations will not be permitted to progress into Year 13.
The first unit tests the student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of Computer Science from fundamentals of programming, data structures, algorithms and the theory of computation.
This On-screen examination will test student’s theoretical knowledge from topics 1-4, with a programming component. There are a number of short answer questions followed by coding problems based on pre-release material made available in September of Year 13. All questions are compulsory. It is externally marked.
The second unit tests the student’s ability to answer questions on the fundamentals of data representation, computer systems, computer organisation and architecture, communication and networking, databases, consequences of using computers, functional programming, “big data”, and a systematic approach to problem solving.
This Written exam will test student’s theoretical knowledge from topics 5-13. It comprises short and extended-answer questions. All questions are compulsory. It is externally marked.
A Level students are assessed on their ability to use the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to solve a practical problem following a systematic approach to problem solving.
For the non-exam assessment, candidates must produce a practical project. The report will be internally marked and externally moderated. It is worth 20% of the total A Level mark.
For students with GCSE Computer Science you must have a Grade 6 or above in Computer Science and a 6 or above in Maths.
For non-Computer Science students you must have a Grade 7 or above in Maths.
A passion for Computer Programming and problem solving is essential.