COMPUTING SCIENCE A LEVEL
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
* 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
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
Unit 4: Coursework involving programming
* Definition, investigation and analysis
* Software development` and testing
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|
|Examination||2 1/2 hours||40%|
|Examination||2 1/2 hours||40%|
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
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
HVAC Systems Technician
Internet Solutions Developer: Java Developer
Master Certified Internet Webmaster in Design
Microsoft Access Database Specialist
Microsoft Certified Database Administrator
Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Specialist (MCDST)
Microsoft Certified Professional
Oracle Database Administrator
Oracle Database Specialist
PC Network Administrator
Personal Computer Support Technician
SAP Analyst: Salary
SAP Solution Architect
Senior Java Programmer
Senior Oracle Developer
Senior Web Developer
Server Technology Manager
Sun Certified Java Programmer
Sun Certified Solaris Administrator
Sun Certified System Administrator
Technical Development Manager
Technical Service Support Manager
Technical Support Manager
Video Game Programmer
Web Security Specialist
Wireless Communications Technician