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Computer Science

Computer Science - A Level

Special Entry Requirements:

In addition to the A Level entry requirements you need a minimum of a grade 5 in GCSE Maths

Course Introduction:

Computing develops problem-solving ability using an algorithmic approach. It teaches programming in a fun and challenging way. It also develops an understanding of hardware and software. It provides a firm basis for a Computing degree and we recommend Computing rather than IT to students with this aim.

Course Modules:

First Year

Component 1: Fundamentals of Computer Science
This component investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, data structures, software applications, programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.

Written examination: 2 hours. 70% of qualification

Component 2: Practical Programming to Solve Problems
This component consists of a series of set tasks completed on-screen by candidates. These tasks will assess the practical application of knowledge and understanding and will require the use of Python as a programming language.

On-screen examination: 2 hours 15 minutes. 30% of qualification

Second Year

Component 1: Programming and System Development
This component investigates programs, data structures, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.

Written examination: 2 hours 45 minutes. 40% of qualification

Component 2: Computer Architecture, Data Communication and Applications
This component investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, organisation and structure of data, programs, algorithms and software applications.

Written examination: 2 hours 45 minutes. 40% of qualification

Component 3: Programmed Solution to a Problem
Candidates discuss, investigate, design, prototype, refine and implement, test and evaluate a computerised solution to a problem chosen by the candidate which must be solved using original code.

Non-exam assessment (coursework). 20% of qualification

Assessment:

At AS a written examination and an on-screen programming exam. At A-level two written examinations and a coursework component (20%)

Career Opportunities:

Computers are widely used in all aspects of government, business, industry, education, leisure and the home. In this increasingly technological age a study of computing, and particularly how computers are used in the solution of problems, is of great value. Computing encourages an awareness of the management and organisation of computer systems and it extends the students’ horizons beyond the college environment in the appreciation of the effects of computer applications on society and individuals.

It is not necessary to take A level Computer Science before going on to take a degree in the subject but, it does provide a useful basis for further study and shows a commitment to the subject.

A-level Computer Science prepares you very well for a range of specialised degrees including: Computing, Security and Encryption, Software Engineering, Computer Games Production, Information Systems, Forensic Computing, Computer Technologies, Network Management and Web Design & Services