Computer Science encompasses the theoretical aspects of how a computer is designed, used and applied to solve real world problems. It is an applied subject that provides the student with practical problem solving skills in a variety of programming language. It provides a strong foundation for students who wish to enter a career in Computer Science as Programmers, Data Analysts, Cyber Security Consultants, Web Designers, Games Developers or Electronic Engineers.
Computer Science students will develop the ability to:-
- use technical language appropriately;
- apply skills in logic to solve problems; and
- increase their awareness of existing and emerging technologies and the impact they have on society, organisations and individuals.
There is a substantial coursework element in Computer Science which requires students to create a complete piece of bespoke software to solve a real-life problem. The project is divided into five stages: Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing and Evaluation. Students must be able to plan their time effectively throughout the course in order to meet the project deadlines. Consequently, the Computer Science course is only suited to students who can work consistently and independently, week by week.
The theoretical components include more advanced knowledge, understanding and application of data handling, file handling, computer architecture and number representation. A command of more sophisticated terminology is expected, along with more advanced programming techniques including recursion, object-oriented programming and more complex algorithms.
Component One: 2 hour 30 minutes written exam
40% of A-level
- The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
- Software and software development
- Exchanging data
- Data types, data structures and algorithms
- Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues
Component Two: 2 hour 30 minutes written exam
40% of A-level
- Elements of computational thinking
- Problem solving and programming
20% of A-level
Students will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification. Broadly speaking, the report will cover these broad areas:-
- Analysis of the problem
- Design of the solution
- Developing the solution
- Testing the solution
This qualification is suitable for learners intending to pursue any career in which an understanding of technology is needed. It will provide learners with a range of transferable skills which will facilitate personal growth and foster cross curriculum links in areas such as maths, science and design and technology. Computer Science is a very creative subject and skills such as problem solving and analytical thinking will all be refined and explored. The most popular areas of employment in computer are Cyber Security Consultant, Software Developer, Database Administrator, Hardware Engineer, Systems Analyst, Network Architect, Web Developer, Information Security Analyst and Game Developer.