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Computer Science (GCE) at Shelley College

Course description

Why study Computer Science?

The study of Computer Science is about developing an approach to problem solving that involves developing IT systems using your own programs.

It’s mainly about developing and using your own programming skills. Along side the programming you will look at how and why a computer works, what peripherals are available and how these communicate with each other.

The system lifecycle involves analysis, design, development/prototyping and evaluating computer systems. As you’re aware computing is constantly evolving with new technologies being developed and new uses for those technologies being developed almost daily so you will be required to keep up to date with current IT industry developments and you’ll be expected to read, watch and explain the IT news.

Course content

Content Overview

The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices

Software and software development

Exchanging data

Data types, data structures and algorithms

Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Elements of computational thinking

Problem solving and programming

Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms The learner will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification.

Analysis of the problem

Design of the solution

Developing the solution


Entry requirements

The aim of our entry criteria policy is to ensure students are taking courses they are well suited to and are able to make progress in. We seek to provide courses well matched to the needs of our students, helping them to follow their chosen progression pathway.

Due to changes in the curriculum set-up for GCSE, AS and A Level which are currently taking place, we have reviewed our entry criteria from 2018/19 onwards and will continue to review this annually until all curriculum changes are effective.

We have also decided that for the 2018/19 entry students, those with a 4 at English or Maths GCSE will be offered the opportunity to resit that subject in order to achieve a Level 5.

Our main College entry requirements are as follows;

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from five different subject areas.

Purely vocational pathway require a minimum of four 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from four different subject areas.

A BTEC qualification may be counted as equivalent to two GCSE passes if students choose to follow a vocational pathway (i.e, OCR Cambridge National in Sport).


There will be three pathways which students can follow based on an average grade produced from their seven best GCSE results. The calculation being used for this van be seen overleaf.


Average Grade

Programme of study


Average grade of 7 or higher

3 or 4 A Levels


Average grade of 5 to 6.9

3 A Levels or a mixed A Level and Vocational pathway


Average grade of less than 5

Mixed (A Level and Vocational) or Vocational pathway


The method for calculating your average grade and additional subject requirements are within our full entry criteria document which can be found on the Sixth Form section of our website:



Computer systems (01) 140 marks 2 hours and 30 minutes written paper 40% of total A level

Algorithms and programming (02*) 140 marks 2 hours and 30 minutes written paper 40% of total A level

Programming project (03* or 04**) 70 marks Non-exam assessment 20% of total A level

Future opportunities

In Computer Science terms the UK has some excellent courses to offer should you decide to go into this subject area. The courses range from:

Computer Forensics

Computer Network Technologies

Ethical Hacking for Security

Computing, Computing and IT

Games Programming, and many, many more.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters’ latest Graduate Recruitment Survey shows that the majority of business sectors are anticipating an increase in

the number of vacancies for grads this year, with the IT sector projecting an amazing 20.5 per cent rise.

Possible career routes include:

ICT or Network technicians

Junior programmers

First line support staff and many more

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 13 October 2017
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