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Computer Science at The Sixth Form College Farnborough

Course description

Computer Science is a practical subject where you can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, that can look at the natural world through a digital prism.

The course will give you the opportunity to learn computational thinking, helping you to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

The qualification will be focused on programming and emphasise the importance of computational thinking as a discipline.

There’ll be an expanded maths focus, much of which will be embedded within the course.

Course content

01 Computer Systems

  • Software and its development
  • Types of programming languages
  • Data types, representation and structures
  • Exchanging data and web technologies
  • Following algorithms
  • Using Boolean algebra
  • Legal, moral and ethical issues.

02 Algorithms and Programming

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Programming and problem solving
  • Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition
  • Algorithm design and efficiency
  • Standard algorithms
  • There’ll be a short scenario/task in the exam paper, which could be an algorithm. You will be required to analyse it and provide a suitable solution.

03 Programming project

You, with the guidance of your teacher, will select your own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable you to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. You will need to analyse the problem, design & implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

Entry requirements

  • You should have at least a grade C in English Language and a grade B in Mathematicss.
  • Ideally you should have achieved a C or above in GCSE Computing, or have some prior programming experience.


Computer Science A Level will be fully linear so assessment of your knowledge and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study.

The A Level will consist of three components, two of which will be externally marked question papers making up 80% of the qualification. The other 20% will be the coursework project, which will have an emphasis on coding and programming.

The assessment structure for the course is as follows:

01 Computer Systems 

  • Marks: 140
  • Duration: 2 hr 30 minutes
  • Weighting: 40%

02 Algorithms and Programming 

  • Marks: 140
  • Duration: 2 hr 30 minutes
  • Weighting: 40%

03 Programming project 

  • 70 marks
  • Weighting: 20%

Future opportunities

You can, based on your results, apply for Computer Science/Software Engineering related disciplines at university or take an apprenticeship route to gain experience and qualifications as a software engineer/software developer etc.

Further information

What other subjects could I do with computing?

Traditionally Computing has often been combined very successfully with a science or Mathematics. However in the modern computer industry people come from all sorts of backgrounds very often not remotely mathematical. Communication skills are often as important as a logical mind.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Sixth Form College Farnborough directly.

Last updated date: 16 March 2016

Key information