Why study Computer Science?

We live in the digital age. Everything we do involves computer science in some way. Whether you are streaming music and videos, playing games, adding filters to images, messaging friends or digitally tracking exercise. None of these would be possible without computer science!

Studying computer science teaches you how all of these, and many other things in our contemporary world, work. It teaches you how to apply computational thinking skills to break down, and solve, large complex problems, and it teaches you advanced programming skills; a skill which empowers you to make a positive difference in the world.

The course contains many challenging concepts and encourages students to build resilience and independence, resulting in it being well-regarded by universities and future employers.

Exam Board:

AQA: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/computer-science-and-it/as-and-a-level/computer-science-7516-7517/specification-at-a-glance

Course Outline:

The units studied at A Level are:

  1. Fundamentals of programming
  2. Fundamentals of data structures
  3. Fundamentals of algorithms 
  4. Theory of computation
  5. Fundamentals of data representation
  6. Fundamentals of computer systems
  7. Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  8. Consequences of uses of computing
  9. Fundamentals of communication and networking
  10. Fundamentals of databases
  11. Big Data
  12. Fundamentals of functional programming
  13. Systematic approach to problem solving  

How are you assessed?

Paper 1 (40%) – 2hr 30mins

This is an on-screen exam which students answer a series of short questions, from units 1-4 above, and also write/adapt/extend program code in an Electronic Answer Document provided by AQA.

Paper 2 (40%) – 2hr 30mins

This paper tests a student's ability to answer questions from subject content 5-13 above. The questions are a combination of short-answer and extended-answer questions.

Non-Exam Assessment – 20%

In addition to the 2 exams, students also complete a non-exam assessment in the form of an advanced level computing project. Pupils have the opportunity to select which project they will complete.

Studying this subject could lead to a career in:

Every type of industry needs computer scientists, leaving the potential career choices to be both vast and diverse, giving computer scientists excellent graduate opportunities.

Careers can include anything from more traditional careers like Software and App Development, Games Designers, Web Development and Network Administrators, to more contemporary and creative careers such as Fashion Designers, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Medical Research, Education and 3D Animation. Future opportunities are without boundaries.

Subject requirements:

GCSE computer science of experience in coding languages recommended.

 

 

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