A-level Computer Science

A-level Computer Science

You will learn to program in one of our chosen programs; it can be VB net or Python.

Course Content

The AS course covers the following topics: Fundamentals of programming, fundamentals of data structures, systematic approaches to problem solving theory of computation, fundamentals of data representation, fundamentals of computer systems, fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture, consequences of uses of computing and fundamentals of communication and networking.
 
In general you will learn to differentiate between different data types. You will get familiar with the three combining principles (sequence, iteration/repetition and selection/choice) which are basic to all imperative programming languages. You will be familiar with arithmetic operations in programming such as addition, subtraction, integer division etc. Be familiar with subroutines, procedures and functions: Be able to explain the advantages of using subroutines in programs.
 
You will learn how to use Boolean logic such as: NOT, AND, OR and XOR
 
You will learn how to use constants and variables in programing, and how to apply them in your program and the differences between different data structures, such as, arrays, records etc. You will know the theory of a project or system life cycle and be able to apply the steps in your practical work. You will be able to express the solution to a simple problem as an algorithm using pseudo-code
 
The A2 course covers the following topics:
• Relational databases and functional programming. The theory of computation, the consequences of uses of computing, Big Data, the systematic approach to problem solving.
• Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project
 
You will:
• expand your existing knowledge of programming at a higher level as well as study object oriented programming
• learn relational databases design and implementation techniques.
• be familiar with the structure and use of Turing machines that perform simple computations and computational maths.
• have an understanding and knowledge of the basic internal components of a computer system and the role of the processor
• have the opportunity to learn truth tables, logic gates, Boolean algebra and binary.
• understand network architecture and topologies, plus communication methods and data transmission. Internet security will be also dealt with among other network issues
• Learn classification of software programs

Assessment

AS Year (1 year)
Paper 1
This paper tests a student’s ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content.
On-screen exam: 1 hour 30 minutes 50% of AS
 
Paper 2
This paper tests a student’s ability to answer questions from subject content. The questions are made up of short-answer and extended-answer questions.
Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes 50% of AS
A Level (2 year)
Paper 1
This paper tests a student’s ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from subject content.
On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes 40% of A-level
 
Paper 2
This paper tests a student’s ability to answer questions from subject content.
Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes 40% of A-level
 
Project:
The non-exam assessment assesses student’s ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem.
Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving. 20% of A-level

Where does it lead?

There is a shortage of programmers in the UK; therefore the possibilities are great for students with a degree in Computer Science in this country and abroad. Apart from the field of programming you may find opportunities in networking and computer architecture.

Reading List

AQA A-level Computer Science

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