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Computer Science A Level at Cedars Upper School

Course description

Advances in computing are transforming the way people work and this Computer Science course was developed to provide the learning required to build on the GCSE Computing curriculum. The emphasis of the course is developing programming skills, computing knowledge, logic and computational thinking (what can be computed and how we compute it). The course is aimed at those wishing to find a route into higher education in this subject, or careers in programming, cybersecurity and big data.

Course content

This is a 2-year course with a linear assessment at the end. There are three assessed units:
Paper 1: tests a student’s ability to program, as well as theoretical knowledge of Computer Science from a range of topics. It is assessed through an on-screen examination where students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs through use of a skeleton program in an industry-recognised programming language.
Paper 2: tests a student's ability to answer questions from an extensive range of theory topics.
Project: a non-exam assessment (NEA) that assesses the student's ability to use knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to solve a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving.

Entry requirements

It is expected that students applying for this course will have relevant previous computing experience, most likely gained by successfully completing GCSE Computer Science at grade 6 or higher. The course will not generally be suitable for students who have followed a BTEC/GCSE ICT study route, because they will need a good foundation in programming skills and computing knowledge, which will only have been learned through a level 2 Computer Science qualification.


Linear assessment:
Paper 1 – 2½ hours on-screen exam, 40% of A-level
Paper 2 – 2½ hours written exam, 40% of A-level
Project – NEA, internally assessed, externally moderated, 20% of A-level

Financial information

You will be required to buy the course text book (approx. £30). Owning a computer or laptop with an office software suite such as Microsoft Office 365 would be an advantage to help with preparation of homework and coursework in home study time, as well as for coursework write-ups.

Future opportunities

This course has been designed for students who wish to study Computer Science in higher education, or enter into a career where knowledge of computing is essential. It also provides a foundation of experience for starting a career in programming.

Further information

This course meets the requirements of the reformed A-Levels, first taught from September 2015 onwards. Assessment is linear and examination of the student’s knowledge and understanding will take place at the end of the two-year course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cedars Upper School directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years