Computer Science

Computer Science

Like it or not you’re living in it – this is the Digital Age. Computer programmes have all but infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Computer scientists theorise, design, develop, and apply the software and hardware for the programmes we use day in day out – and this sounds pretty important. Every industry uses computers so this means that computer scientists can work in any industry. Problems in science, engineering, health care, and so many other areas can be solved by computers. It is up to the computer scientist to figure out how to solve these problems, and design the software to apply the solution. Computer scientists are in demand across the world and this demand is only set to grow as we rely more and more on computers in our everyday lives.

Course Content

The course content is split into 13 areas:

  1. Fundamentals of programming
  2. Fundamentals of data structures
  3. Fundamentals of algorithms
  4. Theory of computation
  5. Fundamentals of data representation
  6. Fundamentals of computer systems
  7. Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  8. Consequences of uses of computing
  9. Fundamentals of communication and networking
  10. Fundamentals of databases
  11. Big Data
  12. Fundamentals of functional programming
  13. Systematic approach to problem solving

The course is assessed through 2 examinations which will take place at the end of the end of the 2-year course. Each examination will last 2 hours 30 minutes and each contributes 40% of the final grade awarded. Paper 1 is an on screen examination assessing areas 1 to 4 of the list above. The second paper is a written examination assessing the remaining areas. There is also a non-examination assessed component contributing 20% of the final award and this requires students to investigate and design a solution to a practical problem.

Is this course right for me?

This course will suit you if:

  • You have an interest in computer systems, in how they work and working with them
  • You enjoy solving problems, being able to decompose them to produce working solutions
  • You are willing to work hard and learn lots of new information as the course is full of new definitions and concepts to memorise
  • You are highly numerate and are able to spot patterns in data

Course highlights

Students are encouraged to participate in a number of activities organised by the department which may include:

  • Attendance at Computer Science events across the country such as PyCon UK
  • Entry into national competitions such as the British Informatics Olympiad
  • Trips to visit EGX, the UK’s biggest games event, the Museum of Science and Industry and the National Museum of Computing
  • Participation in various conferences and seminars.

What can I do next?

A level Computer Science prepares you very well for a future career in any industry and a wide range of degrees such as Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Games Development, Information Systems, Forensic Computing, Computer Technologies, Network Management and Web Design and Services.

Subject minimum entry requirement

Grade 6 in GCSE Computer Science, Mathematics or Physics.

Mr HM Sanderson
Subject Leader of Computer Science