Computing

A Level

Course Entry Requirements

5 A*-C grades at GCSE including a minimum of grade C/4 in GCSE English Language and grade B/5 in GCSE Maths and a Science subject.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, September 2018, however, the College may need to make some changes by September 2019 in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College’s control.

Download Course Information

What will I study?

1. Fundamentals of programming
2. Fundamentals of data structures
3. Systematic approach to problem solving
4. Theory of computation
5. Fundamentals of data representation
6. Fundamentals of computer systems
7. Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
8. Consequences of uses of computing
9. Fundamentals of communication and networking
10. Fundamentals of algorithms
11. Fundamentals of databases
12. Big Data
13. Fundamentals of functional programming
14. Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project

What skills do I need?

  • Good at organising your time (3 to 4 units running at once)
  • Problem solving skills
  • Descriptive language (verbal and written)

Examination Board

AQA


Why should I study this course?

The most important aspect of computer science is problem solving, an essential skill for life. Students study the design, development and analysis of software and hardware used to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific and social contexts. Computer programmes have all but infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Computer scientists theorise, design, develop, and apply the software and hardware for the programmes we use day in day out. Computer scientists are in demand and their salaries reflects this. Every industry uses computers so naturally computer scientists can work in any. Problems in science, engineering, health care, and so many other areas can be solved by computers. It’s up to the computer scientist to figure out how, and design the software to apply the solution.

How is the course assessed?

You will be assessed on two paper assessments worth 40% each and one piece of course work worth 20%.

Assessment 1 tests a your ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content 1 – 13 above and the skills required from section 22 above.

Assessment 2 will assess your ability to answer questions from subject content 14 – 21 above.

The non-exam assessment assesses your ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. Students will be expected to
follow a systematic approach to problem solving.

What will this course prepare me for?

This will prepare you for either university, higher level apprenticeships or employment. Given the pervasiveness of computer technology in society today, there are many different job possibilities for the computer science major. The right job for you will depend on your personal skills, values, and interests.

Private study

You will be expected to study for at least 4.5 hours per week outside of lessons.

What materials will I need to provide?

Everything will be provided but it would be helpful if you have a computer at home.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through practical application of theoretical concepts. We teach you a skill or concept that you will apply.

A Level Computing is for you if:

Maybe you have always liked to solve problems or decipher codes. Perhaps you have a knack for learning new languages, or maybe you were intrigued enough about your computer to rip the cover off and tinker with the inner workings. If so, computer science might be an ideal career choice for you. Computer science students need to think analytically to devise systems and programs, but must also be detail-oriented enough to troubleshoot problems.

You must be able to communicate with non-technical people to assess their needs and convey technical information in plain language. Creativity is essential for those computer science students who hope to come up with the latest app or technology gadget. Given the rapid rate of change within technology, computer science students need to have a thirst for learning to keep up with the latest developments. Computer science students also must be curious about the world around them since programs and systems are applied to every possible area of life and commerce.