Gumley House School FCJ

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A Level Computer Science

Studying Computer Science at A Level

Exam Board:  OCR
Expected Entry Criteria:  Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics and Science, and Grade 5 in English Language

Why study this course?
If you are a student who

  • Is looking to develop an advanced understanding of computer science
  • Wants to apply your coding ability to solve real-world problems
  • Is looking at a computing orientated degree
  • Is aiming to work in the computing industry.
  • Is looking at a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship

A level Computer science is naturally a strong subject to take if you wish to go on to do computer science at degree level, and although most computing-based degree courses don't require Computer Science A level there are a number of software engineering courses which do.  There are also other degree courses such as information technology and information systems which will be served well by a Computer Science A level.

After university, there are numerous interesting fields of study and professions that you can go in to.  Computer science will lead on to robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, big data processing, networking, ethical hacking, computer game development, home automation or even teaching.  So much of the world uses computers nowadays that having a good understanding of how computers work and how to program them will set you up for success in many strands of life.

 
What will I learn?

Our A Level Computer Science qualification splits learning into three section: Computer Fundamentals, Programming Techniques and Logical Methods, and a Programming Project. A natural progression from GCSE (9–1) Computer Science, it provides the perfect springboard for students looking at specialising in a computing-based career. Within the course, students study a range of theory topics, which include the principles and understanding linked to programming, topics such as hardware and software, networks, systems development life cycles and implications of computer use.


How will I be taught?

We aim to incorporate a range of styles into our teaching and your learning. This might include, pair/group work e.g. coding buddies, practice tasks, debugging.

There will be presentations, demonstrations, research tasks and writing. We aim to supplement your learning with appropriate visits and on or offline experiences..


How many hours a week private study will I have?

You will be expected to complete around six hours of independent work a week.


You’ll enjoy this course if…

You like to be inventive and creative in your approach to solving problems, and can look at the natural world from a digital perspective. OCR’s A Level in Computer Science will value computational thinking, helping you to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

 

Course Description

Component 01 – Computer Systems
Section 1:  The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
Section 2:  Software and software development
Section 3  Exchanging data
Section 4:  Data types, data structures and algorithms
Section 4:  Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Component 02 – Algorithms and Programming
Section 1:  Elements of computational thinking
Section 2:  Problem solving and programming
Section 3  Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms

Component 03 – Programming Project
The learner will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification.

  • Analysis of the problem
  • Design of the solution
  • Developing the solution
  • Evaluation

Paper 1:  Component 01 – Computer Systems
External written examination, 40% of A Level

Paper 2
Component 02 – Alorithms and Programming
External written examination, 40% of A Level

Paper 3Coursework
Internally assessed, externally moderated, 20% of A Level


For more information, contact 
Miss J Ellaway