Head of Department: Ms Melanie Dennig

Exam Board: AQA


Rationale

Knowledge and understanding of Computer Science will help empower students in their participation in our increasingly digital world. Our course guides students from passive consumers of existing technologies to active creators of future systems. British pioneers have been instrumental in the developments within Computer Science, yet currently our industry is experiencing a skills shortage in this highly rewarding sector. Those students who feel that they are able to help fill this gap will be able to progress towards an A-Level in Computer Science. Others may look at this course as an ideal opportunity to develop their problem solving and creative thinking skills, which are in demand across all professions.

Course Structure

Topics:

  1. Fundamentals of algorithms
  2. Programming
  3. Fundamentals of data representation
  4. Computer systems
  5. Fundamentals of computer networks
  6. Fundamentals of cyber security
  7. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy
  8. Aspects of software development

The above topics are examined through the following three assessments:

Computational Thinking and Problem Solving: Screen-Based Paper – 40% of the Qualification

A mix of multiple choice, short-answer and longer-answer questions assessing a student’s practical problem solving and computational thinking skills, such as solving small programming problems and number base conversions from topics 1-4 above.

Theory of Computer Science: Written Paper – 40% of the Qualification

A mix of multiple choice, short-answer, longer-answer and extended response questions assessing a student’s theoretical knowledge, such as the implications of computer use in society from topics 5-7 above.

Practical Software Development: Controlled Assessment – 20%  of the Qualification.

The development of a computer program along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written and tested by a student to solve a problem. Students will produce an original report outlining this development, providing evidence of their knowledge and understanding of topic 8 above.

Careers

People with a background in Computer Science work within a wide range of industries.

Their skill set is valued in any engineering context as well as the management and banking sectors.  It is a very rewarding career choice and individuals can transfer their skills both nationally and globally.