a-level Computer Science
Examination Board: AQA
Introduction and Structure
Computer science is the study of the theory, experimentation and engineering that form the basis for the design and use of computers. A challenging field, the emphasis of this course is on computational thinking and problem solving.
The two year course covers fundamentals of programming; data structures and representation; algorithms; computer systems, organisation and architecture; communication and networking; databases. It also includes the theory of computation; the consequences of uses of computing; Big Data; a systematic approach to problem solving as well as a computing practical project.
Paper 1: on screen exam - 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A-level
Paper 2: written exam - 2 hours 30 minutes - 40% of A-level
Non exam assessment: 75 marks - 20 % of A-level
Careers and Progression
Computing is the fastest growing sector in industry. Any career or further education course involving computing would benefit from this A-level. You can study computer science and go on to a career in medicine, law, business, engineering or any type of science. This course feeds into computer science studies or university courses for those who wish to progress into writing their own programs/games/apps/software. It is also suitable for those wishing to have a greater insight into how PCs actually work, which would suit those whose career will take them heavily into ICT as every industry uses computers in one way or another so the potential of future employment is high.
Minimum requirement: 6 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (or equivalent), including Grade 4 or above in English and maths
Strongly recommended: Grade 5 in maths
Recommended: Grade 5 in computer science/ICT