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Computer Science A Level at Heanor Gate Science College

Course description

The A’ Level in Computer Science is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. The course focuses on programming, building on GCSE Computing and emphasises the importance of computational thinking as a discipline. This will help you to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence. The course will also give you a clear progression into higher education, as the course was designed after consultation with members of BCS (British Computer Society), CAS (Computing at School) and top universities.

Course content

AS Computer Science

Component 01 - Computing Principles

This component will contain traditional exam style questions and will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Programming
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues.

Component 02 - Algorithms and Problem Solving

This component will contain traditional exam style questions and there’ll be a short scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving. Other areas covered include the following:

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms.

A Level Computer Science

Component 01 - Computer Systems

This component will contain traditional exam style questions. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

  • 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.

Component 02 - Algorithms and Programming

This component will contain traditional exam style questions with two sections.

SECTION A Traditional questions concerning computational thinking:

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Programming and problem solving
  • Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition
  • Algorithm design and efficiency
  • Standard algorithms.

SECTION B There’ll be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm which will involve problem solving.

Component 03 - Programming Project

Internally assessed, externally moderated.

Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable you to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. You will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

Entry requirements

A Grade C or above in GCSE Maths and a Grade C or above in GCSE Computing.

Future opportunities

The A’ Level in Computer Science qualifies for UCAS points so if you complete it successfully you could move on to study for a Degree or BTEC Higher National Diploma in related subjects such as Computer Science, IT, Information Systems, Software Engineering, Computer Networking, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics etc. You could also go on to work based training such as Trainee Software Engineer or vendorspecific qualifications.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Heanor Gate Science College directly.

Last updated date: 06 September 2016

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