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This course aims to develop your ability to solve real-world problems, design suitable algorithms, and write effective computer programs. To do this you will need to develop skills in expressing yourself precisely, and thinking algorithms through carefully. You will also need to learn the high level concepts and programming techniques required to succeed in Computer Science.

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

The course has been designed to suit students wishing to continue on to either higher education Computer Science or related degrees or to employment in areas where knowledge of Computer Science would be beneficial.

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Advanced Level assessment

Paper 1 (40%)

Includes units in fundamentals of programming, object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms and theory of computation.

2 hour 30 minute on-screen exam based on seen and unseen material with a range of programming tasks. 

 

Paper 2 (40%)

Includes units in data representation, computer architecture, communication and networking, low-level programming, functional programming, databases, and consequences of uses of computing.

2 hour 30 minute written theory exam.

 

Non-exam assessment (20%)

A large 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 investigating new concepts in class and through home study, mastering programming techniques through practice and projects, and sharing ideas through discussion and peer assessment. Python is the primary programming language used for the course and there will be some use of ARM Assembler, SQL, and Haskell. Students also use independent online study resources like Code Academy and students are expected to do a substantial amount of both practical and theory work outside the classroom.

Method of Assessment

Project work (20%) will be submitted in April the second year, and two final exams (40% each) will be sat in June of the second year.

Resources

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 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.

Enrichment

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?

Apply for this course

Find out how to apply for A-level Computer Science.

Computer Science has been added to My Courses

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