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Computer Science A Level at Dame Alice Owen's School

Course description

We live in a digital world and understanding how the machines, which we use for large parts of our lives, work is becoming an increasingly valuable asset. This A Level is not just for students interested in a career in computing, but also for those who may go into a wide range of work areas including science, engineering or business. This course consists of both the theory of computing (here, an interest in Maths is useful although you don’t have to be studying A Level Maths), and practical programming is an art which requires lots of practice – it is hugely rewarding if you are resilient and enjoy solving problems). You will get to code in both an exam and the non-examined assessment (coursework).

Course content


1.         Programming

2.         Data structures

3.         Algorithms

4.         Computational theory

5.         Data representation

6.         Computer systems

7.         Computer organisation and architecture

8.         Ethical, legal and cultural issues around computing

9.         Communication and networking

10.       Databases

11.       Big data

12.       Functional programming

13.       Problem solving using systems

Entry requirements

6 in GCSE Maths & an aptitude for programing.

If you did not take GCSE Computer Science then you will be able to show an aptitude for programming by working through a short course and carrying out some tasks.


Examination Board – AQA

Exam Structure

Paper 1

On screen exam as it involves coding

2hrs 30mins (100 marks), 40% of A Level

Questions on topics 1 to 4 above

Paper 2

Written paper

2hrs 30mins (100 marks), 40% of A Level

Questions on topics 5-13 above

Non-Examined Assessment

75 marks, 20% of A Level

This is a coursework project which will be started at the end of Year 12. It’s a great opportunity to plan and code a solution to a problem you have chosen yourself. Real examples have included a robot which maps out a new environment and can then route efficiently around it, a ‘tank war’ game which fire projectiles at an enemy taking account of height, force and wind speed, and a simulation of genetic mutations over multiple generations.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Dame Alice Owen's School directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years