This Computer Science qualification provides an educational basis for students who wish to go onto higher education or into employment where knowledge of Computing would be beneficial. Students go on to careers in Computer Science, Information Technology, medicine, law, politics, business, or any type of science. Computing jobs are among the highest paid and have the highest job satisfaction. Computing is very often associated with innovation, and developments in computing tend to drive it. There are more computing jobs than qualified people to fill the and, according to the CBI, computing has one of the greatest potential for new jobs in the future
The course is not about learning to use tools or just training in a programming language. Instead the emphasis is on computational thinking. Computational thinking is a kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines. Thinking computationally is an important life skill. Thinking computationally means using abstraction and decomposition. The study of computation is about what can be computed and how to compute it. Computer Science involves questions that have the potential to change how we view the world. For example, we may be computing with DNA at some stage in the future, with computer circuits made of genes. This leads to the question, does the natural world ‘compute’?
This course, with its emphasis on abstract thinking, problem-solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning, scientific and engineering-based thinking, is a good foundation for understanding the future challenges we face.
The A Level consists of three units. Unit 1 is a practical, on-screen examination which allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of the subject, focusing on programming through a problem-solving scenario using pre-release material. Unit 2 focuses on the hardware and software aspects of Computing and the social and economic consequences of Computing. The final unit is an internally assessed unit that assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical problem using computing. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving.
Unit 1: Short answer questions and programming
On-screen exam: 2 hour 30 minutes
40% of A Level
Unit 2:Short and extended-answer questions.
Written examination: 2 hour 30 minutes
40% of A Level
Non-exam assessment: Computing practical project
Internally assessed and externally moderated.
20% of A Level
7/above in GCSE Computing and 6/above in GCSE Mathematics.