Computer Science

At a glance

Awarding Board: AQA
Entry Requirements: Six GCSE grades 9-4 including English Language and Mathematics
Subject Specific: Study of Computer Science or ICT at Key Stage 4 is preferred but not required

Assessment

Coursework plus two 2.5 hour examinations at the end of Year 13
Coursework Project (20%)
Paper 1 Practical Programming (40%)
Paper 2 Theory (40%)

Computer Science is at the centre of the modern world, through our interactions with technology. Since its inception as a sector within industry, Computer Science has become essential to everyday life and changed nearly every part of society. Cybersecurity experts protect companies from foreign and domestic interference, while everyday people stream movies and connect with video conferencing technology.

By 2030 the technology sector is set to grow by 33%, with an increase in jobs that at present do not exist, making this a highly profitable sector for employment. Computer science is strategically necessary for the world today and can open doors to exciting and lucrative professional opportunities. With Computer Science you could be the next Bill Gates.

What will you study?

You will study procedural-oriented programming by developing programs that have a graphical user interface instead of a command line interface and learn about other aspects of programming such as communicating with database servers using SQL. You will then progress on to object-oriented programming in Python and finally get a taste of the functional programming paradigm using Haskell and assembly language programming using the ARM instruction set.

You will also study the fundamentals of computing devices, the logic gate circuits that enable computing devices to perform operations, the structure and role of the processor, the low-level language of the machine, and how it is used to program the hardware directly. Topics such as networking and the storage and processing of the vast amounts of

How will you study?

An A Level Computer Science class will typically have 10-15 pupils.

The qualification is a mixture of practical programming skills and theory.

A significant proportion of the A Level course, 20% of your overall grade, is non-examination assessment (coursework), for this you will complete a project of your choice, either developing a program to solve a problem or investigating an aspect of Computer Science. Python is generally used for the project but it is also possible to use other languages such as ASP or PHP for web page programming or to develop applications for mobile devices.

Where will it take me?

74% of Computer science graduates find employment within 15 months after graduation across the UK.

The top five jobs held by graduates are related to Computer Sciences and include Cyber Security Professionals, It Business Analysts, System Architects or Systems Designers.

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