A Level Computer Science

Entry Guidance

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or better. No more than two applied courses can count towards this total and each applied course counted has the equivalence of only one GCSE, regardless of its nominal size. In addition, students must achieve the specific entry requirements which may apply to this course.

Please speak to subject leader or look on website.

Typical Syllabus Outline

This course aims to develop your ability to solve problems and to know when they are solved or not.

Expressing yourself precisely and thinking algorithms through carefully are qualities that are encouraged and will have lasting value. The specification has no overlap with the ICT course. No prior knowledge of Computing and ICT is required. The course has an emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem-solving, programming skills, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning and scientific engineering based thinking.  It has been designed to suit students wishing to continue on to either HE Computer Science or related degrees or to employment in areas where knowledge of computing would be beneficial.

Compulsory Units

Advanced Subsidiary Level

Paper 1

Theory of computation. Fundamentals of programming, data structures and algorithms. A 1 hour 30 minute on-screen exam based on seen and unseen material with a range of programming tasks. Worth 50% of the AS.

Paper 2

Fundamentals of data representation, computer systems, organisation and architecture, communication and networking. Software development and consequences of  uses of computing. A 1 hour 30 minute written exam worth 50% of the AS.

Advanced Level

Paper 1

Theory of computation. Fundamentals of programming, data structures and algorithms. A 2 hour 30 minute on-screen exam based on seen and unseen material with a range of programming tasks. Worth 40% of the A-level.

Paper 2

Fundamentals of data representation, functional programming, computer systems, organisation and architecture, communication and networking. Big data and consequences of  uses of computing. A 2 hour 30 minute written exam worth 40% of the A-level.

Non-exam assessment

Individual programming project of the candidates own choice worth 20% of the A level

Progression

A level Computing is accepted as an appropriate qualification for entry to many degree courses and gives a very good start to students wishing to take Computer Science at degree level.  It is also well thought of by employers for students wanting to go straight into employment.