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Computer Science A Level at Preston Manor School

Course description

This A level course encourages candidates to develop their knowledge and understanding of computer sys‐ tems, the principles of computing (including programming) and how these are applied to the solution of problems.

The aims of this qualification are to enable learners to develop:

  • An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
  • Mathematical skills

Course content

Learners must take three components

Unit 1: Computer System

  • 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

Unit 2: Algorithms and Programming

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms

Unit 3: Programming Project - 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
  • Evaluation

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSEs at grade 6, including Computer Science, Maths and English Language. Students who have not completed GCSE Computing must have achieved at least grade 7 in Maths.


  • Unit 1: Computer Systems – 2 hours 30 mins written examination ‐ 40%
  • Unit 2: Algorithms and Programming ‐ 2 hours 30 mins written examination ‐ 40%
  • Unit 3: Computing Project – Non‐examination assessment (Internal Assessment) – 20%

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 November 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years