Computer Science

A Level

Computer Science

Why should I study this course?

The world of computer science continues to develop at an astonishing rate. The challenge for you as a computer scientist is to be able to respond to this fast-changing world and to develop the high-level knowledge and skills that will help you to understand technology that will be developed in the future.

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.

The most important aspect of computer science is problem solving, an essential skill for life. 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 reflect this.

What will I study?

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Systematic approach to problem solving
  • 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 algorithms
  • Fundamentals of databases
  • Big Data
  • Fundamentals of functional programming
  • Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project

Students study the design, development and analysis software and hardware used to solve problems in a variety of business, scientific and social contexts.

Examination board

AQA

How is the course assessed?

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

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 the 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.

This course is for you if...

You like to think analytically to devise systems and programs, but you are also 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.

Your application starts here

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What are the course requirements?

Five 9 – 4 (A* - C) grades at GCSE including a minimum of grade 4 (C) in GCSE English Language and grade 5 (B) 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 choose a course programme that best suits your ambitions and achievements.

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

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)