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Computing A Level at Eaton Bank Academy

Course description

This course is designed for students who wish to go onto further education courses or
employment where knowledge of computing would be beneficial or just for the student who loves computers! The new exam board specifications have been expanded to include new technologies and developments as well as to provide exposure to more traditional Computer science topics.

Course content

Paper 1: 2hr 30min : On screen : 40% of A Level
Fundamentals of programming
Fundamentals of algorithms
Fundamentals of data structures
Systematic approach to problem solving
Theory of computation
Paper 2: 2hr 30min : Written : 40% of A Level
Fundamentals of data representation
Fundamentals of computer systems
Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
Consequences of use of computers
Fundamentals of communication and networking
Fundamentals of databases
Big data
Fundamentals of functional programming

Non-examined assessment (coursework) : 20% of A Level

Entry requirements

There are no specific subject requirements at GCSE but a pass at Grade B level or above in Mathematics and English Language will be required for you to be able to cope with the wide range of skills that the subject tests. It is not anticipated that candidates studying Computing will necessarily be following any Sixth Form course in a mathematical or science subject but many will be doing this and it would prove helpful.
No previous formal knowledge of Information Technology, Computing, Programming, Physics or Electronics is expected because the course will be taught with this in mind.
However, a general background of, and interest in, the basic principles of Computing would be useful. If you are currently taking GCSE Computing or ICT, this would provide a useful background to some parts of the course and it is expected that you will have achieved at least a Grade B in these subjects.
A reading list can be provided on request prior to the start of the course and Summer work will be provided to whet your appetite!

Future opportunities

Computing can lead to careers in so many different areas-medicine, law, business, politics, the sciences, art and graphic design, engineering, architecture, music technology, software architecture, project management or network engineering. The skills you will learn whilst studying for your computing A level will actually be useful everywhere.

Further information

The course is not about learning to use tools or just training in a programming language. Instea dthe emphasis is on computational thinking. Computational thinking is a kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines. Thinking computationally is an important life skill. Thinking computationally means using abstraction and decomposition. The study of computation is about what can be computed and how to compute it. Computer Science involves questions that have
the potential to change how we view the world. For example, we may be computing with DNA at some stage in the future, with computer circuits made of genes. This leads to the question, does the natural world ‘compute’?

Computation is a “lens” through which we can understand the natural world, and the nature of thought itself, in a new way. Computing / Computer Science is about designing new algorithms to solve new problems. In this sense Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. Many great challenges lie in the future for Computer Scientists to solve. 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 understanding these future challenges and will enable learners to develop lots of transferable skills.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Eaton Bank Academy directly.

Last updated date: 18 April 2018

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