Computer Science is a creative and exciting subject which challenges students to use their ingenuity to solve problems using code. The academic principles of computing are applied to real-world systems developing computational thinking, skills of system design and the understanding of the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.
The A-level course consists of the following topics
Computing Principles covers topics such as operating systems, data types and structures, Boolean algebra and legal and ethical issues. Algorithms and Problem Solving covers computational thinking, programming techniques, software development methodologies, pattern recognition, abstraction and decompositions and algorithms.
Assessment at A level is by way of two two-and-a-half hour exams and one project.
Paper 1: Computer systems
Paper 2: Algorithms and programming
Each paper is worth 40% of the final grade and the project is worth 20%.
To be accepted onto the course students need at least a Grade 6 in GCSE Maths. The course will require mathematical skills when solving problems. GCSE Computing is not necessary but will be helpful. The course demands good levels of problem-solving and creativity. You will be expected to develop your programming skills independently. Students who choose this course should have spent some time learning to code to determine whether it is a subject they will enjoy. This might be by learning code in languages such as Python via interactive websites such as Codecademy and Code Avengers.
Examination Board: OCR. Course Number: H446