A-Level Computer Science

If a student has attended a school which offers GCSE Computer Science, it is required that he or she will have taken the subject and will have achieved a grade A or above.  If a student has attended a school which does not offer a GCSE qualification, it is required that he or she will have achieved a Grade 7 or above in Maths.

This qualification consists of two units  in AS Level and three units in A-Level which enable candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of Computer Science.

Among the many benefits, this programme of study offers to candidates is that it encourages candidates to:

  • develop their problem solving ability in a computing context using algorithmic approach
  • demonstrate their knowledge of programming through a problem solving scenario
  • develop an understanding of the hardware and software aspects of computing

AS

Unit

Unit Title / Content (H046) OCR

Current Year 12 (2017/18)

Assessment

1

 

Computing Principles (01)

  • Structure and function of the processor 
  • Types of processor 
  • Input, output and storage devices 
  • The function and purpose of operating systems 
  • System application generation 
  • Networks 
  • Web technologies 
  • Data types 
  • Data structures 
  • Boolean Algebra​

Written Exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

Total marks: 70

(no calculators allowed)

Weighting: 50% of total AS

2

Algorithms and Problem solving (02)

  • Thinking abstractly
  • Thinking Ahead
  • Programming techniques

Written Exam: 1 hour 15 minutes

Total marks: 70

(no calculators allowed)

Weighting: 50% of total AS

 

A-Level

Unit

Unit Title / Content                   (H446)  OCR Assessment – In 2019
1
Computer Systems (01)
  • Structure and function of the processor 
  • Types of processor 
  • Input, output and storage devices 
  • System software development 
  • System application generation 
  • Software development
  • Types of programming language 
  • Compression, encryption and hashing 
  • Networks 
  • Web technologies 
  • Data types 
  • Data structures 
  • Boolean Algebra 

Written Exam

Total marks: 140

2 hours and 30 minutes

(no calculators allowed)

Weighting: 40% of total A-Level

2

Algorithms and Programming (02)

  • Thinking abstractly
  •  Thinking ahead
  •  Thinking concurrently
  •  Programming techniques
  •  Computational techniques 

Written Exam

 2 hours and 30 minutes

Total marks: 140

(no calculators allowed)

Weighting: 40% of total A level
3

Programming project

  • Analysis of the problem
  • Design of the solution
  • Developing the solution
  • Evaluation

NEA

Total marks: 70

Weighting: 20% of total A level

A-Level Computer Science is only available for pupils who have completed the AS level qualification, consequently prior knowledge is expected. Students will confirm whether they will be sitting AS or continuing to A-Level in the first half of Year 12.  The A-Level qualification builds upon the topics covered during the AS programme of study and consists of three further modules of study.  Focus is now placed on pupils being able to construct programs which solve real client problems.

Among the many benefits that this programme of study offers to candidates is that it encourages candidates to:

  • Further develop their knowledge and understanding of programming, this time offering candidates the opportunity to learn and develop skills in a programming language of their choice.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of algorithms, their construction and application.
  • Develop an understanding of communications and networking.

A-Level Units

Unit Title/Content                              AQA (7517)

(Current Year 13 (2017/18)

Assessment

1

 

Paper 1

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation

On Screen Exam: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Marks available: 100

Weighting: 40% A-Level marks

 

2

Paper 2

  • 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

Written Exam: 2hours, 30 minutes

Marks available: 100

Weighting: 40% A level marks

 3

NEA -The computing Project.

The project is assessed in five sections. The lists below shows the maximum available mark for each section of the project:

  • Analysis                       9
  • Documented Design  12
  • Technical Solution     42
  • Testing                        8
  • Evaluation                   4

Practical Project

Marks available: 75

Weighting: 20% A level marks

Further information on the GCE Computing can be found at www.aqa.org.uk

Enrichment:

Key note lectures are attended at selected Universities and educational establishments.

Associated Careers:

  • Analysts  - Software Designer (Games, Web etc.)
  • Business Development Consultants
  • Programmers (Java, Web)
  • Technical Developers - Technical Authors
  • System Testers – Testers – Trainers - Technical Support - Music Industry
  • Television and Screen Animation - Computer aided Design and Manufacture