Computer Science

The computer science qualification splits learning into three section: computer fundamentals, programming techniques and logical methods, and a programming project. A natural progression from GCSE (9–1) computer science, it provides the perfect springboard for students looking at specialising in a computing-based career.

Within the course, students study a range of theory topics, which include the principles and understanding linked to programming, topics such as hardware and software, networks, systems development life cycles and implications of computer use. It enables teachers to tailor the qualification to match the requirements of students and has an open source ethos allowing you to use any programming language that meets the needs of the course.

The A level will develop a student’s ability to:

  • Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • Apply skills in and an understanding of computing (including programming) in a range of contexts to solve problems
  • Delve into producing graphical user interfaces and object-orientated programming solutions.

Through the creation of a programming project, students will have the opportunity to create a substantial piece of software using modern design methods and, guided by teachers, they will look to display their skills and talents.

Method of assessment

The course is assessed through two written exams (each worth 40%) and a programming project (worth 20%). There is one re-sit opportunity for this subject.

Topic areas covered

Year 12
• The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
• Software and software development
• Exchanging data
• Data types, data structures and algorithms
• Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Year 13
• Elements of computational thinking
• Problem solving and programming
• Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms
• Independent programming project

Level: A Level

Board: OCR

Head of department:
Miss J England

Ms E Harewood (lead teacher)