Introduction to the Course
This new specification A Level course is designed to allow progression from GCSE Computing and allows students to develop an understanding of and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science including; abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. Throughout the course students will develop the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems including writing programs to do so. Students also develop the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of Computer Science, develop their mathematical skills and develop the ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.
Standard entry requirements and the ability to cope with the demands of an academically challenging A Level course. Students must have completed GCSE Computing or Computer Science and achieved at least a grade 6. Students who only have Level 2 ICT qualifications (including GCSE ICT) will not be accepted onto the course.
A-Level Students will study:
Unit 1: Computer Systems. You will learn about the characteristics of contemporary processors, software and development; exchanging data; data types structures and algorithms; and legal, moral and ethical issues.
Unit 2: Algorithms and Programming. You will learn about elements of computational thinking; problem solving and programming; algorithms to solve problems; and standard algorithms.
Unit 3: Programming Project. This coursework project involves the analysis of a problem, design of a solution, development of the solution and an evaluation.
Unit 1: Computer Systems – 2hr 30 mins examination paper —40% of the total A Level
Unit 2: Algorithms and Programming – 2hr 20 mins examination paper —40% of the total A Level
Unit 3: Programming Project course work —20% of the total A Level
Future Career Progression
A Level Computer Science is a specialised course which is ideal if students are planning on moving onto a Computer Science or Computing-based higher level or degree course. Many of the top universities now recognise the value of a Computer Science qualification.
The course is also suitable for students seeking to go into a career in Computing (e.g. software development or programming) or an apprenticeship.
In addition, the course will provide learners with a range of transferable skills which will facilitate personal growth and foster cross curriculum links in areas such as Maths, Science and Design and Technology. Computer Science is a very creative subject and skills such as problem solving and analytical thinking will all be refined and explored as learner’s progress through the learning and assessment programme.
Computer Science is often combined with subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Engineering at A Level.