Computer Science


LEVEL: A Level – Linear

EXAM BOARD: AQA

WHY CHOOSE COMPUTER SCIENCE?

How many times have you thought: “Why did the computer do that?” or “No, that’s not what I wanted!!”or “How does that actually work?”. Computer Science is designed to help answer these questions. You will learn about the logic of software, the fundamentals of how the computer processes data and the functions of what is actually happening in the background. Computer Science is an exciting and challenging subject which is strongly focused on computing fundamentals, software development and problem solving. You will learn how to analyse problems, design algorithms and write applications.

AIMS OF THE COURSE

Think in a computational way using reasoning & logic. Use abstraction & decomposition to break problems down into chunks which can be solved & built on.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

Computing is technical with its emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem-solving, algorithmic & mathematical reasoning, scientific & engineering-based thinking. It is a good foundation for understanding future challenges as it builds on fundamentals of data representation, programming, problem solving & the logic inherent in system design.

AS – Unit 1 is a practical, on-screen, examination asking you to show knowledge of fundamental principles, focusing on programming through a problem-solving scenario using pre-release material. You learn to program in either Python or VB.Net & other languages, such as Java.

Unit 2 focuses on hardware & software. You look at how different elements of a computer system work including system, application software & development software. You learn about the structure of the internet and its components.

A2 – Unit 3 focuses on computational thinking, what can be computed, programming & problem-solving including communication & networking (building on the technical knowledge you learned in Unit 2).

Unit 4 is internally assessed; here you report on a computer-based programmed solution which you have created. You have to code to solve a real world problem.

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

Unit 1: 1.5 hour on-screen exam – 50% of AS

Unit 2: 1.5 hour written exam – 50% of AS

Unit 3: 2.5 hour written exam – 40% of A Level

Unit 4: 2.5 hour written exam – 40% of A Level

Programming coursework – 75% marks, 20% of A Level

WHERE CAN IT LEAD?

Doing Computer Science does not mean, however, that you will automatically go off to be a games developer, it can lead you to a range of different courses and careers in mathematics, science, engineering and IT. If you have a logical mind, an urge to solve problems and an affinity for writing computer code then Computer Science is for you.