AS/A2 Computer Science

Course details

Advances in computing are transforming the way we work. From small businesses to global corporations, software development is at the heart of the commercial world. If you want to learn computer programming and the development of computer systems as well as their organisation, you will enjoy this subject.
The aim of this A and AS Level Computer Science specifications is to develop your understanding of existing and new ‘cutting edge’ technologies in the field of Computer Science.

This brand new course will teach you a lot about computers and the ways in which computers are organised in terms of software, data, hardware, communications and people.

You will develop the skills necessary to apply your understanding to the development of computer-based  solutions. You will also consider systematic methods of solution implementation, testing and documentation.

What qualifications do I need to study on the course?

In addition to the minimum requirements for 6th form entry, it is a requirement that you should have achieved a good pass in GCSE ICT or GCSE Computer Science or CiDA course.

What will I study?

The course will focus on: 

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • 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
  • Systematic approach to problem-solving
  • Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project


Assessment

Unlike previous A levels, the assessment for the full A level takes place in the final year of the course. Students wishing to complete the AS year only, will study the same content but will undergo a different scheme of assessment.

AS level assessment:

AS Paper 1

  • On screen examination
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 50% of the total AS level marks

Students answer questions and write/adapt programs in an Electronic Answer Document.  Some questions are based on preliminary materials (vb.net program). The exam covers bullet points 1-4.

AS Paper 2

  • Written examination
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 50% of the total AS level marks

This examination focuses on the main subject content (bullet points 5-9)

A level assessment:

A Paper 1

  • On Screen examination
  • 2 hour 30 minutes
  • 40% of the total A level marks

Some questions are based on preliminary materials (vb.net program). The exam focuses on bullet points 1-4 .

A Paper 2

  • Written examination
  • 2 hour 30 minutes
  • 40% of the total A level marks

This examination focuses on the main subject content (bullet points 5-13)

Non-exam assessment

  • Practical Coursework
  • 20% of the total A level marks