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A-Level Computer Science

Overview

Computer Science should appeal to you if you wish to understand how computers work and want to learn to write your own computer programs. It is suitable for study with any other subject. Computers are widely used in all aspects of government, business, industry, education, leisure and the home. In an increasingly technological age the study of Computer Science can open significant academic and employment opportunities.

Computer Science is an interesting and dynamic course that demands both logical discipline and imaginative creativity in the design, writing, creation, testing and debugging of computer programs. The course is concerned with the underlying principles of problem-solving using computers, developing an understanding of how computers work, learning to produce
computer programs, and appreciating the principal trends of current computer usage.

Entry Requirements

A C grade or higher in GCSE Computer Science; or for those pupils who didn’t study GCSE Computer Science, a B grade in Mathematics.

Course Overview

A Level Computer Science consists of five separate units. AS Units 1 and 2 will be undertaken during Year 12; and the A2 units 3, 4 and 5 will be completed during Year 13.

AS Unit 1 (Fundamentals of Computer Science)
During Year 12, you will learn about computer architecture, communication, programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society. You will sit a two hour written examination at the end of Year 12. Unit 1 is worth 25% of the A Level in Computer Science (and 62.5% of the AS).

AS Unit 2 (Practical Programming to Solve Problems). In Year 12, you will learn to write your own computer programs using the Python programming language. Your knowledge and understanding of programming will be examined by a two hour on-screen examination at the end of Year 12. Unit 2 is worth 15% of the A Level in Computer Science (and 37.5% of the AS).

Progression

Pupils successfully completing AS Computer Science may choose to study Computer Science at A2 level (in Year 13). Units 3 and 4 involve the further study of computer science theory, building on the knowledge gained in Unit 1. Both units are assessed by a written exam. For Unit 5, students complete a programming project on a topic of their own choice.