If you are interested in programming and wish to gain a much deeper knowledge of Computer Science than you may have experienced in GCSE this is an excellent and fascinating A level. You will gain lots of career specific skills in programming including some advanced skills in object orientated programming which are very relevant to contemporary job opportunities. You will also gain a wide overview of the theoretical aspects of Computer Science which will be very relevant in a degree course, apprenticeship or employment.
COURSE CONTENT & ASSESSMENT
The course consists of two final papers (80% of final mark (40/40) and an NEA (controlled assessment) (20% of final mark)
Paper 1: (On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes)
This paper tests your ability to program, as well as your theoretical knowledge of computer science.
A significant portion of the exam (roughly 60%) involves programming. The language used is Python and the exam is strongly focused towards Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
Theory topics covered:
- Fundamentals of programming
- Fundamentals of data structures
- Fundamentals of algorithms
- Theory of computation
Paper 2: (Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes)
This paper tests a student’s ability to answer questions from a variety of topics based on the following concepts:
- Fundamentals of data representation
- Fundamentals of computer systems
- Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
- Consequences of uses of computing
- Fundamentals of communication and networking
- Fundamentals of databases
- Big Data
- Fundamentals of functional programming
NEA: (50 hours in class)
The non-exam assessment assesses your ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. You are expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving. There is the option to produce a programming project of your choice as long as it is of sufficient A level complexity in any programming language that your teachers can support. Previous projects have been in Python and VB.net.
This A level can be the start of a career in programming in any sector, online development, video gaming, finance, 3D rendering etc. It is also a very useful support to any science based career. Additional job opportunities that are growing fast are cyber security, data analysis and computer forensics.
Course-specific Entry Requirements: You need a minimum of a 6 in GCSE Mathematics and a 5 in GCSE Computer Science