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Computer Science A Level at South Downs College

Course description

You need to have a genuine interest in understanding and using computers.

The course has a significant amount of practical programming, where students develop and test computer applications using a visual programming language.

The theoretical part of the course covers the principles of how computers work and the constructs behind program development.

If you prefer to focus on applications such as Spreadsheets, Word Processing, Desk Top Publishing and Web Design you may find it more suitable to enrol on the A level ICT course.

Course content

Year 1
The first year concentrates on acquiring the fundamentals of computer science and involves acquiring knowledge and understanding of software development, computer architecture, data representation and structures. Practical programming in VB.Net is used to solve problems and create algorithms.

Year 2
The second year builds on the knowledge and understanding acquired in the first year. This is also applied to a computerised solution to a problem chosen by the student as a non-examined assessment worth 20% of the overall A level qualification. The solution will be developed using VB.Net and SQL Server.


Entry requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English Language and Mathematics at B or above.


  • Component 1 – programming and system development is a three hour written examination and is worth 40% of the A level qualification.
  • Component 2 – computer architecture, data, communications and applications is a three hour written examination and is worth 40% of the A level qualification.
  • Component 3 – programmed solution to a problem is a non-examined assessment. It is enternally assessed and externally moderated and is worth 20% of the A level qualification.


Future opportunities

A good A level pass in a range of subjects will assist you to progress to higher education or appropriate employment.

The majority of our A level Computing students progress to higher education, many to follow courses in Computing, Mathematics, Physics, Electronics or Medicine, while others pursue their interests in subjects such as Business Studies and Economics.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact South Downs College directly.

Last updated date: 06 May 2016

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