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A Level Computer Science

Computer Science is a creative subject which involves the invention and development of ideas through coding.

What does the course involve?

Computer Science has computational thinking at its core; thinking that provides solutions to problems, designs systems and recognises the nature of human and machine intelligence.

The A Level qualification consists of two examined units and one coursework unit.

  • Unit 1: Computer Systems (40%).
  • Unit 2: Algorithms and Programming (40%).
  • Unit 3: Programming Project (20%).

Year One

During the first year you will:

  • Study contemporary systems architecture, databases and networks.
  • Develop computational thinking skills, write code and learn about web technologies.
  • Explore programming techniques.
  • Understand key standard algorithms such as insertion sort and binary search.

Practical lessons will use the Raspberry Pi.

Year Two

The second year includes:

  • Characteristics of contemporary processors.
  • Software development methodologies.
  • How data is represented, stored and exchanged between different systems.
  • Coding, using advanced programming techniques.
  • Merge sort, quick sort, A* and Dijkstra's algorithm will be explored.

The coursework project involves using your skills to develop a solution to a problem of your own choice. Most students produce a game or a simulation.

Trips

An optional trip to EGX, the UK's biggest games event, provides opportunities to play new games, hear from leading developers and get careers advice from the games industry.

There are visits to university Computer Science departments during the course; recently we have been to Oxford and Birmingham.

Past trips have included the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park and the Science Museum in London.

What can you do after the course?

Russell Group universities list Computer Science as a useful A Level for many degree courses.

Students have gone on to study the subject at a range of institutions including prestigious universities such as Bristol, Oxford, Reading and York.

Computer Scientists are in demand and find work in many industry sectors.

 

Tamara talks about studying Computer Science

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