Computer science is a dynamic and rapidly growing subject that has become an integral part of the world that we live in today.
Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at Grades 9-4 including English and a Grade 5 in Maths. Whilst the prior study of computer science is beneficial, it is not essential.
Length of Course: 2 Years
Assessment: 80% Written Exam 20% Coursework
Components: Component 1: Computer Systems
Component 2: Algorithms and Programming
Component 3: Programming Project
Qualification: OCR: A-Level Computer Science
A Level Computer Science you will provide you with an insight into, and experience of how computer science works and encourage you to engage with computer science in your everyday lives. You will develop an understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. In addition, you will develop the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so. Furthermore, you will develop the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically, and the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science Mathematical skills. In component 1, you will learn about the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices; software and software development; exchanging data; data types, data structures and algorithms; legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues. In component 2, you will learn about the elements of computational thinking; problem-solving and programming; and algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms.
Even if you haven't studied Computer Science before, if you enjoy problem-solving and are logical and good at Maths then this is the right course for you.
A vast array of jobs exists within the field of Computer Science including Analyst, Programmer and Developer roles. There are opportunities within many sectors such as telecommunications, aerospace and defence, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, public and third sectors. This course enables progression into higher education in a wide range of degree areas such as computing, engineering and mathematics. Equally, the course supports direct entry into the computing industry e.g., apprenticeships in Digital Cyber Security. A Degree Apprenticeship in Software Engineering (where you earn a salary and have your university fees paid) is another possible progression route from this course. Useful websites to research careers and wider progression options could include The Tech Partnership, Target Careers, BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide.
- How much previous code experience is needed?
None. If you have some, great, but you don't need any. However, you will have some knowledge of Coding from Key Stage 3, studying Small Basic, Python and Scratch. You will know more than you think!
- Should I be taking Maths A-Level if I do Computer Science?
You don't have to, but it will help, and it could limit your options of where to study it later at university if you don’t.
- How will I be assessed?
The A Level Computer Science course is assessed by sitting externally examined written papers. All examinations will be assessed in the summer of Year 13 (2 exam papers in total accounting for 80% of the Final grade). Programming skills will be continually developed throughout the course and students will carry out a project of their choice which will account for 20% of the overall grade.