COMPUTING SCIENCE A LEVEL

wes 

Exam board: OCR 

QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO START THE COURSE

General qualifications for your chosen pathway (see What to study/LaSWAP pathways)

6 or above in maths

Computing is part of everything we do from the cars we drive, to the movies we watch, to the ways businesses and governments deal with us. Understanding different dimensions of computing is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st century.

Whether you want to be a scientist, develop the latest killer application, or just know what it really means when someone says “the computer made a mistake”, studying computing will provide you with valuable knowledge. You will be able to solve complex, challenging problems and make a positive difference in the world because computing drives innovation in the sciences (human genome project, AIDS vaccine research, environmental monitoring and protection), and also in engineering, business, entertainment and education.

 

YEAR 12 COURSE SPECIFICATION

Unit 1: Computing principles

* The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices

* Software and software development

* Programming

* Exchanging data

* Data types, data structures and algorithms

* Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues

Unit 2: Algorithms and problem solving

* Elements of computational thinking

* Problem solving and programming

* Algorithms

 

YEAR 13 COURSE SPECIFICATION

The topics are similar but are covered in more depth. There is also a programming element which is part of the assessment.

 

Advanced computing theory

* The function of operating systems

* The function and purpose of translators

* Computer architectures

* Data representation

* Data structures and data manipulation

* High-level language programming paradigms

* Programming techniques

* Low-level languages

* Databases

 

Unit 4: Coursework involving programming

* Definition, investigation and analysis

* Design

* Software development` and testing

* Documentation

* Evaluation

LEARNING AND SKILLS

The aims of this qualification are to enable learners to develop:

* An understanding of, and ability to apply, the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation

* The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so

* The capacity for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically

* The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science

* The ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

Computer science students will:

* Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.

* Apply knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of computer science, including analysing problems in computational terms.

* Design, program and evaluate computer systems that solve problems, making reasoned judgements about these and presenting conclusions.

* Develop an understanding of how computers are used in the modern world

* Develop a variety of programming skills across a range of languages including Python, Java Script and HTML.

 

EXAMINATION AND ASSESSMENT

 

Units Type of Assessment Duration Weighting

Computer systems

(Component 01)

Examination 2 1/2 hours 40%

Algorithms and

programming

(Component 02)

Examination 2 1/2 hours 40%

Programming project

(Component 03)

Coursework Report N/A 20%

 

 

FUTURE PROSPECTS

A qualification in computer science sets a solid foundation to study the subject to more depth at university.

Computing offers many types of lucrative careers and computing jobs are among the highest paid and have the highest job satisfaction. Computing jobs are here to stay, regardless of where you are located, which will allow you to work in many different countries.

 

Expertise in computing helps you even if your primary career choice is something else. A level computing will provide you with a foundation of knowledge, problem solving and logical thinking that will serve as a competitive advantage to you in your career, in whatever field you choose. Computing offers great opportunities for true creativity and innovativeness and supports creative work in many other fields. The best solutions in computing exhibit high levels of elegance and beauty.

Computing is one of those fields where it is almost impossible to predict what will happen next, so future opportunities in computing are without boundaries. This is why we cannot even begin to imagine all the ways that you can make a contribution to it and it can make your life’s work exciting and real. The decision you need to make is; “do you want to be part of that change?”

 

Some people take computer science at university without really understanding what it involves. This can lead to wasting a year and £9000 discovering that it is not what was expected and that they don’t really like it. A level computing is an ideal course for discovering if it is the subject for you.

Below are some jobs that directly involve computing skills.

 

ASP Developer ASP Programmer: Career Profile

Action Script Programmer

Adobe Photoshop Illustrator

CSS Programmer

Cisco Engineer

Computer Artists

Computer Game Designer

Computer Graphics Designer

Computer Information Manager

Computer Information Technician

Computer Systems Manager

Data Analyst: Employment

Data Communications Analyst

Data Communications Technician

Data Management Analyst

Data Modeler

Data Technician

Database Developer

Database Programmer

Digital Artist

Game Designer

Game Technician

HTML Developer

TML Programmer

HVAC Systems Technician

IT Analyst

IT Coordinator:

IT Technician:

Information Architect

Information Technology

Internet Solutions Developer: Java Developer

LAN Administrator

Linux Programmer

Master Certified Internet Webmaster in Design

Mastercam Programmer

Microsoft Access Database Specialist

Microsoft Certified Database Administrator

Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Specialist (MCDST)

Microsoft Certified Professional

NOC Technician

Networking Manager

Networking Technician

Oracle Database Administrator

Oracle Database Specialist

PC Network Administrator

PHP Developer

PHP Programmer

PeopleSoft Developer

Perl Developer

Personal Computer Support Technician

SAP Analyst: Salary

SAP Solution Architect

SQL Developer

SQL Programmer

Senior Java Programmer

Senior Oracle Developer

Senior Web Developer

Server Technology Manager

Sun Certified Java Programmer

Sun Certified Solaris Administrator

Sun Certified System Administrator

Systems Analyst

Technical Analyst

Technical Assistant

Technical Development Manager

Technical Manager

Technical Service Support Manager

Technical Support Manager

Technology Manager

Telecommunications Specialist

Unix Administration

Video Game Programmer

Web Administrator

Web Coordinator

Web Security Specialist

Web Specialist

Website Administrator

Website Coder

Wireless Communications Technician