Computer Science

Course title Advanced GCE in Computer Science

Examination board OCR

Subject codes A Level Award H446


Computer Science is becoming an increasingly important subject economically, as digital systems have become a critical component of our entire society. The world of Computer Science is an ever changing and fast paced one, with a current shortage of qualified candidates for the jobs available. An A Level in Computer Science will provide you with the skills required for these jobs, including skills such as logical thinking and programming skills. If you have an interest in programming, then Computer Science will not only develop your understanding of programming concepts and practice, it will also encourage you to become a proactive and independent thinker, skills highly sought after by universities and employers.

 Course content (summary)

The Advanced GCE in Computer Science is structured into three themes and consists of two externally examined examination papers and one internally marked assessment.

Students are introduced to Computer Science in Theme 1 through building knowledge of core concepts including algorithms and Boolean logic and applying these to the development of software through different programming languages. Breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, with applications to a wider range of contexts and more complex concepts, are developed in Theme 2, culminating with all the knowledge gained from Themes 1 and 2 applied to the internal assessment in Theme 3, where students will be required to solve a problem using programming code. Students are encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and problem solving approach to the study of Computer Science, to gain a deep understanding of how computers work and how systems are developed.

A Level Computing
01 – Computing Systems. Students will develop an understanding of:

·         Software and its development

·         Types of programming languages

·         Data types and structures

·         Exchanging data and web technologies

·         Following algorithms

·         Using Boolean Algebra

·         Legal, Moral and Ethical issues.

02 – Algorithms and Programming. Students will develop an understanding of:

·         Elements of computational thinking

·         Programming and problem solving

·         Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition

·         Algorithm design and efficiency

·         Standard algorithms

03 – Programming Project.

Students will develop a user driven solution to a problem through effective analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of a program.


Future progression

Computer Science is offered at most leading universities. They will require a minimum of AAA or AAB for access to most degrees, usually with at least one other facilitating subject. Each university will have very specific entry requirements and it is worth checking these before choices are made. Computer Science can be combined in joint honours degrees with a range of other subjects including Mathematics, Physics and Engineering.

Graduates from the School of Computing have excellent job prospects. With the continuing application of computer technologies, rapid growth of hardware and software technologies, their allied industries, and widespread application, the demand for graduates is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Recent graduate destinations include: Barclays, BT Group – Openreach, CSC, EMIS, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu, Goodrich ISR Systems, Imagination Technologies, Microsoft and PepsiCo. (Source: Leeds University)

To succeed in Computer Science

You will:

  • Have a genuine interest in software development and how computers work
  • Be willing to read extensively around the subject from a variety of sources
  • Have a genuine desire to learn programming language and create small programs
  • Be comfortable with all aspects of the assessment. They require problem solving and logical thinking skills as well as extended writing and the willingness to work hard to master complex computing language and concepts