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Computer Science

A LEVEL (OCR)

What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

If you are interested in understanding how computer systems and software work then you should consider taking this course.  If you are the kind of person who likes solving puzzles or finding out how things work then you will probably enjoy it.

What minimum qualifications will I need to start the course?

Grade 6 in GCSE Maths, 4 in GCSE English. 

What will I learn about?

Module 1 

You will study:

The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices; Software and software development; Programming; Exchanging data; Data types, data structures and algorithms; Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues. 

Module 2  

You will study:

Elements of computational thinking; Problem solving and programming; Algorithms.

Module 3

You will be expected to produce a working computer system to solve a problem.  You will analyse the problem and design a solution based on a computer package, or code written by you or a combination of both.  You will then test the system and produce user documentation and an evaluation of your solution.

How will I be assessed?

Module 1

A written paper including short answer, longer answer and some higher tariff questions that will test the quality of extended responses.

Time - 2 hours 30 minutes (40% of A level)

Module 2

A written paper including short answer, longer answer and some higher tariff questions that will test the quality of extended responses.

Time - 2 hours 30 minutes (40% of A level)

Module 3

The project will be internally assessed and externally moderated by OCR.
Time - only limited by internal deadlines (20% of A level)

What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?

Wherever possible, teaching/learning strategies are substantially achieved through practical use of ICT resources to perform useful tasks. A variety of other teaching methods are used, including discussions, presentations and teacher-led activities.

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

An A level in Computer Science provides a foundation for studying computing as a single subject or in conjunction with others at degree level. It also provides a starting point for more specialist degree subjects such as Software Engineering. Engineering, Science and Social Science degrees often include the use of computer programmes for analysing numerical data, so a background in computing can be useful.

Outside higher education, an A level in Computer Science is a useful starting point for employment in the software design industry.

How can I find out more information?

If you have any further questions please contact Miss Pringle in the ICT Department.