The A Level Computer Science course will help you to develop
the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically. You will need to gain an understanding of the organisation of computer systems, including software, hardware, data, communications and people. You will also develop skills in individual investigation, project management, time management and practical programming.
Paper 1: Computer Systems
Students will study the concepts and practices that underpin
the discipline of Computer Science. They will examine, in much greater depth, many of the elements introduced at GCSE, as well as exploring new areas including: compression techniques; the use of hashing algorithms for searching
data and storing passwords; and different techniques for
developing software solutions to real world problems. There will be an opportunity to examine the practical and conceptual challenges associated with creating networks, as well as the topical debates surrounding technology in today’s society, especially Artificial Intelligence.
Paper 2: Algorithms and Programming
Paper 2 topics are firmly rooted in the practical application
of the discipline as students explore in-depth computational thinking and programming techniques fundamental to Computer Science. They will revisit searching and sorting algorithms but this time, investigating their efficiency from the perspectives of time and space and the importance of creating efficient code when writing solutions to problems. Students will also examine the structures that are used to store, search and represent data in computer systems and how these can be applied in practical situations.
Paper 2 concerns itself with the practical application of its
theoretical components and students will be required to create, amend and analyse computer code and algorithms to demonstrate their understanding.
In this project, students have the opportunity to create a
programmed solution to a problem that they have defined. They will: investigate and analyse the problem; design and build a software solution to it; and document, test and evaluate its implementation. This project allows students to
show their programming skills and creative flair, which has
resulted in some releasing their work publicly
Prospective candidates should have attained at least a Grade 6 GCSE in Computing, ICT or Maths.