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Computer Science A Level at West Somerset College

Course description

This modern qualification gives students a general grounding in computing, including an understanding of computer systems, the principles of computer systems, the principles of programming and problem solving. Students look at computing fundamentals including hardware and software; the presentation, structure and management of data; how data is transmitted and networked; the life cycle of systems development.

Course content

What will I learn on this course?

  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.
  • An understanding of the organisation of computer systems.
  • The ability to apply skills, knowledge and understanding of computing, including programming, in a range of contexts to solve problems.
  • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of the subject.
  • An understanding of the consequences of using computers, an awareness of emerging technologies and an appreciation of their potential impact on society.

What can you expect from Computing?

Computing is about creating solutions. As society becomes more controlled by computers, we study the tools and techniques used to create the websites, apps and programs which will be used to run the world.

Who would the course be suitable for?

This course is suitable for students with a logical mind and who enjoy understanding how things work. It is especially suited to students studying Science or Maths subjects, who enjoy working with computers and want to find out more about how they work. Computing provides a good companion subject to many other A levels and is accepted by all universities.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at Grade 5/C or above including English and Maths. Whilst the prior study of computer science is beneficial, it is not essential.

A Level computer science is a very demanding course and students should ensure they are prepared to work consistently to the best of their ability in order to meet these demands.


The A Level Computer Science course is assessed by sitting externally examined written papers. All examinations will be assessed in the summer of year 13 (2 exam papers in total accounting for 80% of the Final grade). Programming skills will be continually developed throughout the course and students will carry out a project of their choice which will account for 20% of the overall grade.

Future opportunities

A Level computing is an excellent preparation for students looking to take computing studies at degree level, or for anyone considering any kind of career in computing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact West Somerset College directly.

Last updated date: 03 October 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years