COURSE CONTENT AND AIMS
Computer Science is the science of computation. Far more than computers, Computer Science explores the mathematical concepts of number bases, Boolean algebra and binary arithmetic. This is a course that can be thought of as “Applied Mathematics” as you learn what makes a problem unsolvable or intractable and how abstraction can be used to reduce a problem to its relevant components. You will learn about theoretical concepts such as the Universal Turing Machine and Finite State Automata as well as learning real-world skills such as networking and database organisation. Central to the whole course is programming. You will learn the latest paradigms including Object-Oriented coding and will work on a large project of your choosing.
While A level Computer Science leads into Computer Science at degree level, its strong mathematical component makes it a good grounding for maths and engineering based degrees. The UK games industry is currently booming, and new tech start-ups are popping up everywhere, so a good background in programming opens up a large range of careers.
There are there components to the assessment of A level Computer Science:
A written exam (40%)
A computer-based exam (40%)
A programming project (20%)
The written exam is a traditional exam in which the more theoretical aspects of the course are examined.
The computer-based exam focuses on the more practical elements. You will be issued with a pre-release in March – this is a mostly complete programme which you will study. During the exam you will be asked to explain parts of the code and make alterations to it and test it in order to achieve given objectives.
The programming project will involve planning, designing and creating your own application, either for PC or for smartphone/tablet, to meet a purpose.
You can design and plan your own project or pick one from a range of options.
For admission to A Level Computer Science, our usual minimum requirements are:
- Students will need to have achieved a grade 6 or above in Computer Science.