Sixth Form subjects Welcome Decision making Success Sixth Form life Scholarships Favourites Switch to GCSE subjects
Optional subject

Computer Science

Level: A level Examination board: AQA Specification: A level 7517

Year 12 course outline

Section 1 covers topics such as fundamentals of programming (C#) and data structures,systematic approach to problem solving and theory of computation. Section 2 covers data representation, computer systems, fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture, consequences of the use of computing and communication and networking.

Year 13 course outline

Three units providing a firm foundation for the study at university. Topics cover programming, data structures and algorithms together with the theory of computation. Section 2 covers Data representation, consequences of use of computer systems, networking, databases and big data. Functional programming and systematic problem solving are covered in context within a project.

Opportunities beyond the classroom

Computer Science is relevant to the changing world of computing and to the higher education community who value computational thinking and problem solving skills. Students will broaden their awareness of the computing industry and understand the implications of new technological developments and there are many local IT companies for work experience. The project, started at the end of Year 12, provides a useful example of work for interviews. Students may take additional qualifications in specific areas such as the Microsoft MTA and there are opportunities to enter the Computing Olympiad and other competitions and lectures with Computer Science departments of various universities.

Course requirements (GCSE grades/interests)

Students will need at least 5 GCSE's at grades 9-6 including Maths at grade 6 or above. They must be a logical thinker and have sound mathematical skills. If their school offered GCSE Computing or IT they should have taken it, and should have an interest in the world of technology and programming.


Paper 1: on screen, 2 hours 30 minutes (40%).

Paper 2: Algorithms and Programming comprising compulsory short answer and extended answer questions, 2 hours 50 minutes (40%).

Coursework: Problem solving and applying programming skills in a major project (20%).

Higher education courses linked to the subject

The course provides a thorough knowledge of the technical aspects of computers and enables students to develop programming skills which are essential for many degree courses in science and engineering. Computer Science combines with a range of other subjects as diverse as Art and Physics leading to areas such as computer games, system management and engineering. Computer Science is a valuable component for many careers, providing a firm foundation for further study at University or to go directly into the IT industry. Being comfortable with the technology to support future learning and retraining will be essential. There is a strong demand from business for both Computer Science graduates and people with Computing skills and knowledge.

Careers linked to the subject

Computer Science is a core component for careers such as technical support and software development, computer games, system management and engineering. There is a strong demand from business for people with computing skills and knowledge in areas such as marketing or combatting cybercrime.

Get in touch

For more information contact the Head of Department.

Name: Mr Michael Dripps