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Computer Science at Elliott Hudson College

Course description

Students who study Computer Science will be challenged and inspired to apply the knowledge they gain with the creative and technical skills that they acquire. The qualification will be focused on programming and computational thinking and will build on the knowledge base acquired on the GCSE course.

The AS course will look at computing principles, algorithms, programming, examining operating systems and data structures.

Course content

A Level

Component 1 - Computing Principles

This component will introduce students to the internal workings of the Central Processing Unit (CPU), CSS/JavaScript and will also look at software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. It will also offer the opportunity for students to analyse and design algorithms, and to study different types of software together with the methodologies that are used to develop them. This component involves advanced mathematics, including the representation and normalisation of floating point numbers and use of sign and magnitude and two’s complement to represent numbers in binary.

Component 2 - Algorithms and Problem Solving

This component will incorporate and build on the knowledge and understanding gained in component 1. In addition, you will study:

• What is meant by computational thinking

• The ben

efits of applying computational thinking to solving a wide variety of problems

• The principles of solving problems by computational methods • Using algorithms to describe problems

• Analyse a problem by identifying its component parts

This component focuses heavily on the reading and writing of complex algorithms including Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm and the A* algorithm.

Component 3 - Programming project

Students 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. Students are expected to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development. This project is independent meaning students will need to debug their program and spend time focused on the development of a complex piece of software.

Entry requirements

Attain 5 or more standard GCSE passes (grade 4 or higher). Achieving a grade 6 or higher in GCSE Mathematics is desirable.

If a student is applying for an A Level course that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that a student would attain at least a standard pass (grade 4) in this subject.


A Level:
Component 1 – Computer Systems, 40% Exam, 2 hours 30 minutes (140 marks).
Component 2 – Algorithms and Problem Solving, 40% Exam, 2 hours 30 minutes (140 marks).
Component 3 - Programming Project – 20% Coursework. Solve a problem with a solution created in any of the following languages: C#, Visual Basic and PHP

Financial information

Elliott Hudson College will not charge fees for tuition or examination entry (except for re-sits, where attendance is unsatisfactory or coursework is incomplete). There are no charges for course materials, although students are expected to provide their own stationery and any specialist clothing /equipment. Course books may be bought from subject teachers however subjects will also loan textbooks to students in return for a deposit. In the case of field trips, a contribution from the student to cover board and lodging, but excluding tuition and travel, will be expected. Some optional activities (e.g. enrichment, theatre trips, exchange visits, etc.) may have an associated cost; this will be notified in advance of the event.

Some applicants might not be supported by government funding for education (e.g. non-UK or EU passport holders recently arrived in the area): in these cases we do reserve the right to charge full fees for the course.

If your family is on a low income or you encounter any financial difficulties in special circumstances, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the college’s Student Bursary Fund.

Future opportunities

Computer Science opens the door to a wide range of careers both within specialist IT companies and companies who use computers in industry, commerce, government service and the universities. Roles span technical innovation, management, analysis, consultancy, training and research. Jobs such as web designers, engineers and software developers all rely on a sound knowledge of Computer Science. It is also a highly regarded subject when it comes to entry for competitive places at Higher Education Institutions.

Further information

Detailed information about Elliott Hudson College can be found on the college’s website


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: 06 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September