A Level Computer Science

Why should I study Computer Science?

This subject is suitable for those who are technically minded, with an interest in technology and engineering. No prerequisite knowledge is required, as the course will be taught from scratch, assuming little or no knowledge of programming. However it is in the pupil’s best interest to read up on what the course includes and have an idea about how simple computer programs work.

The face of computing in schools is undergoing rapid change and has become more structured in recent years. Pupils studying at this level will find they will develop clear skills over and above their counterparts – this is not simply use of computer programs, but how to develop new programs in order to solve real world problems.

Studying computer science may also bring about many links with other subjects such as Maths (D1 module), DT projects, and control systems for scientific experiments.

Any pupil with aspirations to study Engineering, Economics, Physics, or Maths at university will benefit from this course. The course is accredited by the British Computing Society.

What will I need to study Computer Science?

Due to changes in computing courses in schools, the GCSE ICT course is not closely linked to the Computer Science A Level. There are no GCSE grade requirements for the course but it will be of benefit to have a strong interest in technology and computing.

Structure and Outline of the course

Pupils who choose AQA Computer Science undertake a varied course which is broadly split into practical programming and problem solving, as well as a more theoretical foundation in how computers operate. There are elements of ethical and legal aspects of computing and also how networks are set up in commercial organisations.

Computer Science A Level

Year 12

• Learning to program in the high level computer language of C# (C sharp). This is a newer language based on C++, and can ultimately be used to program Windows programs, mobile apps, & text based programs

• The written part of the course allows pupils to understand how information is represented in computers; common algorithms & data structures; hardware and networks; and software development

Year 13

• The A Level adds much additional detail to the existing areas of computing covered in the first year

• It covers functional computer programming, Boolean algebra and logic, Karnaugh Maps and object oriented programming

• Pupils complete a practical computing project which allows them to work on a real life problem that can lead to entrepreneurial ideas and commercial usefulness

Method of Assessment

A Level – All assessment during and at the end of Year 13

Practical programming project: Windows application/mobile app/interactive website 20%

On screen examination: Programming skills 40%

Written Exam: 40%

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