Computer Science delves into the technical side of Computing and software development. It is designed to provide a detailed technical understanding of theoretical, mathematical and practical aspects of Computing.
A-Level Computer Science is a two year course. The first year has two distinct sections. In the first section, fundamentals of software development including programming and data structures are studied. This unit is designed to develop your computational thinking and is assessed through a combination of exam questions and a programming test in an on-screen exam. The second section covers a wide range of supporting technical knowledge including different representation and calculation of numbers, encryption, logic, system software, networking and a section on the moral, ethical and legal consequences of the use of computers.
A standalone one-year AS qualification may also be available. This covers the syllabus of the first year, but cannot be counted towards a full A-Level qualification.
This is assessed through a written exam. In the second year, the syllabus develops your understanding of these sections further and introduces algorithms, the idea of big data and develops your knowledge of database systems.
A-Level Computer Science is assessed through:
• an on-screen exam to test your understanding of programming fundamentals;
• a written exam covering the technical and mathematical sections, and;
• an individual project worth 20% of the A2 course. The individual project develops your understanding of the systems development lifecycle whilst giving you some scope for developing your own programming interests.
To be considered for entry onto our A Level courses you should have:
Three Grade 5s (Bs) plus two Grade 4s (Cs) including Grade 4s in English Language and Maths plus a high average GCSE point score and any individual subject requirements.
Grade 5/B in maths. Suitable for applicants who have already undertaken GCSE Computing/Computer Science or similar and are competent with mathematics.
Computer science and the problem solving and IT skills it develops can be useful in many different careers such as information technology and information management, engineering and manufacturing, construction, broadcast media and performing arts, management, journalism and publishing, and medical technology.