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Computer Science A Level at Torquay Boys Grammar School

Course description

The aim of the course is to develop the capacity to think creatively, analytically and logically and to apply these skills to create programming solutions to problems. The course also aims to develop an understanding of hardware and communications, software, applications and the effects of computers on society; as well as skills in analysis, design, implementation, evaluation and project and time management. As this is a practical subject there will be a large element of practical work in which you will learn how to write your own code.

Course content

A-level - This course is made up of three modules one of which is coursework. Each theory module makes up 40% of the total marks and the coursework project makes up the remaining 20% of the marks.

This unit covers characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices; software and software development; types of programming languages; exchanging data; databases; networks and web technologies; data types, data structures and algorithms; legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.

Algorithms and Programming
This unit covers elements of computational thinking: thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally, thinking logically, thinking concurrently; problem solving and programming: programming techniques, computational methods; and algorithms.

Computing Project
This is the coursework element in which you will identify the problem and its stakeholders, investigate, analyse, design, develop, test and evaluate a significant programming problem of your own choice.

Entry requirements

As not all students have the opportunity to study computer science at GCSE we do not require a qualification in this subject or in IT; although if you have taken GCSE we would expect a grade B or above. What is essential is an ability to think logically. Can you follow flow charts? Understand non-linear sequences of instructions? In order to succeed in this subject, you need to be able to think clearly and communicate effectively. Perseverance is vital in order to solve problems independently and grasp theoretical concepts. Perhaps the most important requirement is that you have an interest in the subject. This will give you the motivation required to work hard and will result in enjoyment of the course.

Future opportunities

Almost every career involves some aspects of computing and having knowledge and skills in this area is essential to all. It also offers the opportunity to pursue new and exciting careers such as artificial intelligence, nano-technology, games design, web design and many more.

The computing industry is one of the fastest growing sections of the economy and there is already a major shortage of people with the right skills. This could benefit students taking Computing as they will be in a much less competitive market and the shortage of people with the right skills is driving up salaries.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Torquay Boys Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 25 April 2017

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