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A level Computer Science at Winstanley College

Course description


Year 1

You will learn the skills and techniques to design and develop algorithms and programs to solve problems. You will consider different aspects of computer systems including how different types of data are represented, the different types of programming languages and the internal and external components of computer systems and their roles. You will learn about logic gates and the mathematics related to this. You will learn about networks and communication and consider the consequences of the current uses of computers.

Year 2

You will learn about a wider range of data structures and look in more depth at communications, networks and the Internet.  You will learn about databases and big data.

In practical sessions you will learn to use SQL, DDL and how to use object-oriented and functional programming languages.

You will undertake a coursework project to develop your practical skills in the context of solving a realistic problem or carrying out an investigation.

Learning outside the classroom
There are many drop-in Computer facilities throughout College (especially in the Library and along 

A-corridor) where you can practice your programming skills. A weekly student-led Code Club gives a space for you to work with other students to develop your programming skills and extend them to include other programming languages.  Drop-in sessions are also available with your teacher and student mentors to help with both theory and practical.  There are many on-line resources and video tutorials.

Study Support
When you enrol we’ll make sure that you are receiving all the support you need, for example you may be entitled to extra time in your exams, you may benefit from working with a dyslexia tutor or you may simply need help with organising your time and many booklets!

Academic Challenge
If you are keen to continue with Computer Science at University you will receive help with choosing which university and which course is right for you. We will support your development of computational thinking skills, guide you to further reading and inspire you with activities and trips. We will also support your development of employability skills. Ex Winstanley students already studying this subject at university will visit and tell you the real story and visiting speakers will help you to understand more about working in the industry.

From school pupil to Winstanley student 
Most students have achieved at least a grade 6 in Maths at GCSE and the majority also study Maths at A-level. The course does have a high mathematical content so you should enjoy the problem solving side of Maths and be prepared to work hard and persevere to develop your programming and problem-solving skills. 

You should have experience of using a structured programming language (some examples are Python, Visual Basic, C#, Java). This could be gained either independently or by having achieved at least a grade 6 in Computer Science at GCSE. If your school does not offer Computer Science GCSE, websites such as can be a helpful place to start. It does not matter what language you learn, the important thing is to gain understanding of the underlying concepts and to learn to think algorithmically and logically.  

Taster Days in July will enable you to see what a typical Computer Science lesson is like.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 12 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years