Computer Science has been added to My Courses


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This course aims to develop your ability to solve computational problems and to recognise when they are correctly solved or not.  Expressing yourself precisely and thinking algorithms through carefully are qualities that are encouraged and will have lasting value.

Prior study of Computer Science or ICT at GCSE level is not essential, but a strong interest in Computing is required and a substantial transition task will need to be completed before enrolment.

The course has an emphasis on abstract thinking, creative problem-solving, implementing programming skills, and mathematical reasoning.  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 Computer Science would be beneficial.

Advanced Level assessment

Paper 1 (40%)

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.


Paper 2 (40%)

Knowledge and understanding of data representation, computer architecture, communication and networking, low-level processing, functional programming, databases, big data and consequences of uses of computing.

A 2 hour 30 minute written theory exam.


Non-exam assessment (20%)

Individual programming project of the candidates own choice.

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The course is taught by well qualified and experienced staff. Teaching methods include exposition, discussions, peer assessed projects and allow plenty of time to develop practical skills in both packages and programming. Python is the primary programming language used for the course and there will be some use of Assembler, SQL, and Haskell. Students also use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access). Students are expected to do a substantial amount of both practical and theory work outside the classroom.

Method of Assessment

Assessment will be taken in June of the second year.


Study guides are prepared for learning practical skills. The College has several Computer Suites each containing over 20 PCs networked to the main College system where students can log in and still access their files on the student server. Remote access to the virtual learning environment (Moodle) via the Internet is also available. A selection of microcontrollers and associated kits are available for those interested and for possible use in A-level or EPQ projects.


In addition to course material costs, a trip to Bletchley Park is planned and currently the cost for this is £35.


Computer Science students are encouraged to participate in enrichment activities, including the national cipher challenge where students program tools to break a series of ciphers, the national British Informatics Olympiad competition and many additional  STEM activities including trips, talks by visiting speakers, university access programs, CREST gold awards and applying for summer placements programs.

Progression / What next

A-level Computer Science 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. Computer Science provides an insight into how algorithms increasingly impact on the world we live in that helps inform our understanding and supports other subjects that make use of computer science.

Where can this course lead?