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Computing AS/A2 Level at Netherthorpe School

Course description

The course consists of both the theory and practice of computing and computer systems. Lessons will consist of a mixture of written work and practical computing work including programming.

Students are required to put in a considerable amount of work in their own time. It will be an advantage if they have a personal computer at home, ideally with the Microsoft Office package.

Course content

Computer Systems (01)

This component will introduce learners to the internal workings of the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the exchanging of data and also looks at software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. It is expected that learners will draw on this underpinning content when studying computational thinking, developing programming techniques and devising their own programming approach in the Programming project component (03 or 04). Learners will be expected to apply the criteria below in different contexts including current and future uses of the technologies.

Algorithms and programming (02)

This component will incorporate and build on the knowledge and understanding gained in the Computer systems component (01). In addition, learners should: understand what is meant by computational thinking, understand the benefits of applying computational thinking to solving a wide variety of problems and understand the principles of solving problems by computational methods

Programming project (03/04)

Learners will be expected to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The underlying approach to the project is to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem. Learners are expected to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development. While the project assessment criteria are organised into specific categories, it is anticipated the final report will document the agile development process and elements for each of the assessment categories will appear throughout the report.

Entry requirements

Students are expected to have a commitment and interest in the way computers work. An interest in problem solving and logical thinking are necessary for this 2 year course.

We recommend students have at least a grade B in GCSE Mathematics to take this course. Computing / Computer science GCSE qualifications of grade C or above are not mandatory but also recommended.


Exam for each unit.

Future opportunities

This course will enable learners to progress to higher study or to progress directly to employment. If learners wish to progress to higher education many universities now recognise the value of an A level qualification in Computer Science. Learners could then go on to a career in Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering or any of the Sciences.

It will provide learners with a range of transferable skills which will facilitate personal growth and foster cross curriculum links in areas such as maths, science and design and technology. Computer Science is a very creative subject and skills such as problem solving and analytical thinking will all be refined and explored as learners progress through the learning and assessment programme.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Netherthorpe School directly.

Last updated date: 02 June 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years