Computer Science - A Level only

Exam Board: OCR

Expectations of Independent Study

We will work with you to develop your knowledge and approaches to problem solving. You will be expected to independently develop your programming skills in a language of your choice. You will also be given time in lessons to continue to work on a series of your own programming experiments that will enable you to develop your problem solving, design and development skills. This will lead into ideas for your official project.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements and the ability to cope with the demands of an academically challenging A Level course. Students must have completed GCSE Computing or Computer Science and achieved at least a Grade 6. Students who only have Level 2 ICT qualifications (including GCSE ICT) will not be accepted onto the course. Strong grades in English and Maths will also be advantageous.

Why is it interesting?

The focus of the course is programming. Programming is a creative technical art; you have the freedom to create anything that your imagination and skills will allow.

Programming is a craft that you will never master you will always have the opportunity to develop your skills, learn new languages, new environments and new ways of achieving goals. We allow you the freedom to explore programming in a supportive and sharing environment where all members of the course can share their knowledge with each other.

We supply you with a wide range of development environments (Visual Studio 2019, Unity, Visual Studio Code, Processing) and languages (all available to use at home) including C#, C++, assembly language, Python, JavaScript and Java so that you can experiment with these different tools and languages.

You will learn about standard algorithms that form the bedrock of computer science and about the hardware and software systems that enable the breadth and complexity of software applications we are able to create today.

What skills and knowledge will I develop by studying this subject?

You will develop your problem solving, design and programming skills. You will deal with abstract concepts and design and build implementations to meet changing goals. You will develop your confidence in tackling hard and complex problems. These skills are applicable to all types of jobs.

This course would be suitable for students who have the following skills and interests:

This course is for those that wish to be creators and not consumers. You should be interested in programming as this is the major focus of the course. If you are interested in creative design and have an interest in exploring the technical and development aspects of computer science, then this course is for you.

What career pathways are open to me if I study this subject?

You can choose to go through a university or degree apprenticeship programme to study computer science, software engineering, game development, AI and machine learning or other computer science based courses. You may also try for developer jobs and apprenticeships programmes.

During your course you will produce a series of personal projects which could be used to build a portfolio of work which you could discuss during interviews with potential employers, apprenticeship providers or university applications.

Assessment Overview

Unit 1: Computer Systems - 2hr 30 mins examination paper—40% of the total A Level

Unit 2: Algorithms and Programming - 2hr 20 mins examination paper—40% of the total A Level

Unit 3: Programming Project course work—20% of the total A Level. The project you develop is your own choice and you pick a suitable implementation language and environment.