Accessibility links

Computer Science - OCR A Level at East Durham College

Course description

Awarding Body - OCR

An A-Level in Computer Science is useful for all kinds of careers, whether it be a career in computing such as software development, programming, network engineering, web design, cyber security or ethical hacking, or a career in business, science, technology, engineering or mathematics. In fact, the skills you will develop on a computer science course are valued by many employers and can be transferred to lots of careers.

Computer Science is an exciting, creative subject in which you will practically apply academic principles learned in the classroom to solve real-world problems. This course is an excellent choice for you if you enjoy imagining, designing and creating new and innovative solutions that can be shared and that might one day become part new technologies that haven’t yet been dreamed of.

The course covers the following topics, amongst others:
Computer programming, computational thinking and problem solving, pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition, algorithms, data types and structures, characteristics of computers and software, software design and legal, ethical, cultural and moral issues in computing.

Putting theory into practice is at the heart of this A-Level and much of your work will involve practical, hands-on development of computer programs. You will take the AS exams at the end of year one and the A level exams at the end of year two.

Entry requirements: 

For Computer Science you will need Grade B or above in GCSE Computer Science and grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics.

For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 5 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.

For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 6 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at A* - A grade.

 

Course content

Topics: 

Computer Systems: Input, output and storage. Software development lifecycle. The Arithmetic and Logic Unit and registers and how they relate to assembly language programming. Procedural languages: assembly language and Little Man Computer. Working with binary numbers. Object-oriented languages, programming constructs, data structures CISC and RISC processors. Multicore and parallel systems. Operating systems, memory management, BIOS, device drivers and virtual machines. Boolean logic and algebra. Networking. Relational databases, SQL. Web design and programming.

Algorithms and Programming: Object-oriented programming. Programming constructs. Global and local variables. Modularity, functions, procedures and parameter passing. Using IDEs to develop and debug programs. Logic and decisions. Problem solving and abstraction. Computational thinking. Algorithm analysis and design. Standard algorithms.

Programming Project – A-Level only
Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. The problem must be analysed and a solution designed, implemented and evaluated.

On this course you will be taught through a variety of different methods, theory lessons, independent research and practical programming. You will also be expected to support self-study using the internet, text books and information sheets.

Computer Science AS and A-Level has more maths focus than previous ICT qualifications. The maths is specific to Computer Science and most of it is embedded in the course.

 

Entry requirements

For Computer Science you will need Grade B or above in GCSE Computer Science and grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics.

For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 5 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.

For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 6 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at A* - A grade.

Assessment

You will be assessed by two formal written examinations - 1 at the end of AS year and 1 at the end of A2.

Financial information

*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment.

Future opportunities

Some students follow an alternative career path, for example: apprenticeships, police force, RAF or a range of jobs in business, software or the computer industry.

Further information

After the completion of this course most students study Higher Education at University on computing –related courses.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 April 2016
Provider logo

Key information

Venues

  • More information
    • In Peterlee, the College re-located in 2009 into an exciting £36 million new build development. Needless to say, the complex is one of the most modern educational facilities in the region and one which staff, students and the public at large are justifiably proud of.

      Along with its specially designed state-of-the-art classrooms and work areas, the College also showcases a 500 seater sports arena and the area's only dedicated specialist theatre.