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Computing A Level at Coombe Boys' School

Course description

In essence Computer Science is understanding in detail, how computer systems actually work. Computers pervade every aspect of modern life. The microprocessor that lies at the heart of every computing system is found absolutely everywhere, from the PC on your desk to laptops, tablets, mobile phones, cars, smart watches and microwave ovens.

Modern society simply could not function without computers, but few people really understand how it all works. Computer Science at AS and at A Level will give you a deep insight and understanding into how it all fits together, from the microprocessor, which you will study in some detail, to memory, storage, operating systems and network architectures.

At the end of the course you will have an excellent understanding of how it all works. Computing is a quintessential STEM discipline, sharing attributes with Engineering, Mathematics, Science and Technology.

The subject: • has its own theoretical foundations and mathematical underpinnings, and involves the application of logic and reasoning. • embraces a scientific approach to measurement and experiment. • involves the design, construction, and testing of purposeful artefacts. • requires understanding and application of a wide range of technologies.

Course content

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Entry requirements

We require you to have at least a grade B in Maths GCSE and at least a grade B Computing GCSE, ICT GCSE or similar grading in other qualifications. For students with no prior programming experience an introduction to programming workbook is available to complete over the summer.


We follow the AQA exam board. AS units:

Unit 1 – Problem Solving, Programming, Data Representation and Practical Exercise (60% of AS, 30% of A Level, 2 hour on-screen examination) This is a practical exam where students are given a skeleton program from the exam board to develop and a data set to manipulate with your program.

Unit 2 – Computer Components, The Stored Program Concept and The Internet (40% of AS, 20% of A Level. This is a 1 hour written examination with compulsory short answer questions)

A2 units:

Unit 3 – Problem Solving, Programming, Operating Systems, Databases and Networking (30% of A Level, 2 hour 30 minutes written examination, Compulsory short and extended answer questions)

Unit 4 – The Computing Practical Project (20% of A Level Coursework, internally assessed, and moderated by AQA.)

Future opportunities

This course, with its emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning, scientific and engineering-based thinking, is a good foundation for further study. This specification has been designed for students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where knowledge of Computing would be beneficial.

One can study Computing and go on to a career in Medicine, Law, Business, Engineering or any type of Science. However, if you decide to do a Computer Science related degree then this A Level will be extremely useful. Some universities demand Maths A Level as one of their requirements to do a computer science degree. (Please check university websites for more information).

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Coombe Boys' School directly.

Last updated date: 13 July 2015

Key information

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