A Level Computer Science encourages students to develop the broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills needed to progress to Higher Education or the workplace. This is a technical subject; you will need mathematical ability, a logical mind and a genuine interest in how computers work. You will learn to design and code C# computer programs; this is a creative activity, satisfying when successful, which requires resilience.
You will be taught using a variety of methods, including presentations, lectures and group work. There will be regular programming sessions where you will learn and practice independent coding skills. Weekly assessments include worksheets and online quizzes.
At the end of the course, there are two formal examinations:
Paper 1 – Practical – on-screen programming
Tests a student’s ability to write code, as well as theoretical knowledge, covering: Fundamentals of programming, data structures, algorithms and computation theory.
Paper 2 – Theory – written
Tests a student’s ability to answer questions covering: data representation, computer systems, architecture, effects of use of computers, communication and networking, databases, Big Data and functional programming.
Non-exam assessment – Coursework
During the second year, students will produce an individual project which demonstrates their problem-solving and coding ability. They will use the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to create software on a subject of personal interest. Students will work independently over an extended period and present their results as a programmed solution and accompanying formal technical report.
We generally ask for a GCSE point score of 5 or above to study a two-year A Level programme.
This will ideally include a 5 or above in English and Maths.
Your average GCSE score will include the Grades for all your GCSE subjects, added together, then divided by the number of subjects you’ve taken.
Please note: If you have a GCSE point score between 4 and 5 you can access certain A Level subjects.
Specific entry requirements
GCSE Grade 6 or above in Mathematics is essential. There will also be an induction test for programming aptitude. It is recommended that A Level Computer Science is taken alongside other science subjects and/or Mathematics. GCSE Computer Science is not compulsory, but experience of coding is very helpful, especially for non-science students.
Computer Science will prepare you for a range of specialist degrees including Computing and Software Engineering. It also provides transferable skills for a range of other scientific and technical subjects. Career pathways could include: network administrator, database analyst/designer, website developer, technical support, and programmer.