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Computer Science A-Level at Priestley College

Course description

Computer Science is concerned with how computers systems work and how they are designed and programmed.  A level Computer Science encourages resourcefulness and creativeness and students are expected to apply these principles to real world computer systems.  It prepares students to have an understanding of the digital world which surrounds them so that they can get the best from the systems they use whilst understanding the technical and ethical challenges of modern life.

Course content

As part of the AS course you will complete two components. The first component ‘Computing principles’  covers the processor, software development , programming, exchanging data, data structures and legislation. The second component covers ‘Algorithms and problem solving’ which investigates computational thinking, problem solving and algorithms. This component allows the students to apply problem solving skills.

Entry requirements

You need to be able to think and approach problems in a logical and systematic way. You also need to be methodical when testing solutions to problems. Students who also have a creative and innovative approach to developing solutions tend to produce both interesting and visually attractive end products.

You need to have a C/5 or above in GCSE Maths and enjoy doing maths. Mathematical skills are embedded throughout the content of the course and assessed in the written exams. A minimum average GCSE score if 5.5 is also required.


Each of the two components in the AS are assessed by written examination. In A2 there are three components, two are assessed by written examination and one is an internally assessed programming project. The project is worth 20% of the overall A level and allows the student to analyse, design and develop their own computing solution.

Future opportunities

Many Computing students go on to study Computer Science or similar subjects at University. A successful Computing student will have demonstrated a broad range of transferable skills that would be considered valuable within the workplace.

Further information

The Curriculum Area organises lots of extra activities for students including trips and visits to local industries and universities. You will be able to take part in national competitions such as the British Informatics Olympiad and the National Cipher Competition organised by Southampton University.  We have strong links with Barclays Bank and have visits from organisations offering apprenticeships including Barclays, RAF and QA apprenticeships. In addition there are visits from local Website developers and App developers to inspire our students.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Priestley College directly.

Last updated date: 10 October 2016
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