The aims of the qualification are to encourage students to develop:
The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
An understanding of the organisation of computer systems, including software, hardware, data, communications and people
The ability to apply skills, knowledge and understanding of computing, including programming, in a range of contexts to solve problems
Skills in project and time management
The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of the subject, and perceive their field of study in a broader perspective
An understanding of the consequences of using computers, including social, legal, ethical and other issues
An awareness of emerging technologies and an appreciation of their potential impact on society.
What does the course involve?
The AS course will consist of two units, each externally assessed and weighted at 50% each.
Unit 1 Computer Principles
In this unit, students gain an understanding of the characteristics of contemporary processors, software and software development.
Unit 2 Algorithms and Problem Solving
In this unit, students gain an understanding of the principles of computational thinking, problem solving, programming and algorithms.
This A Level will consist of three units, two of which will be externally assessed exams making up 80% of the qualification. The other 20% will consist of a course work project which is internally assessed and externally moderated.
Unit 1 Computer Systems
In this unit, students learn about the components of a computer and their uses, types of software and the methodologies used to develop them.
Unit 2 Algorithms and Programming
In this unit, students learn what is meant by computational thinking, how computers and programs are used to solve problems and the use of algorithms to describe problems.
Unit 3 Programming Project
For the coursework component students analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language.What Next?
Both the AS and A Level provide the foundations to study the subject at a higher level and will also been excellent grounding for other subject areas that require computational thinking and analytical skills.
Computer Scientists are in demand and find work in many industry sectors. Computer games developer, Web designer, App developer, Programmer to name but a few.