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Computer Science A Level at Hinchingbrooke School Academy

Course description

Why Study Computer Science?

This qualification is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing, and is also relevant to the higher education community. Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement. The course values computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is designed to inspire and challenge students to apply the knowledge they gain with the creative and technical skills they acquire. Other aspects are:

  • A Level Computer Science is focused on programming; it builds on GCSE Computing and emphasises the importance of computational thinking as a discipline.
  • There is an expanded Maths focus, much of which is embedded within the course.
  • There is an increased emphasis on coding and programming with a simple assessment model and marking criteria.

Course content

What Does The Course Involve?

Units 1 and 2 will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark scheme-type questions.

1)  Computer Systems: This. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

  • Software and its development
  • Types of programming languages
  • Data types, representation and structures
  • Exchanging data and web technologies
  • Following algorithms
  • Using Boolean algebra
  • Legal, moral and ethical issues.


2)  Algorithms and Programming:

  • Traditional questions concerning computational thinking.
  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Programming and problem solving
  • Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition
  • Algorithm design and efficiency
  • Standard algorithms.
  • There’ll be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving.

3)  Programming Project: You are set a user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. You will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

Entry requirements

What Are The Entry Criteria?

5 4s, 5 in Maths. 5 in Computing, or department approval needed. This will involve demonstrating confidence with programming skills.  


Exam board: OCR. 80% exam, 20% coursework.

Future opportunities

Leading To A Career In? 

As computer science permeates everyday life, from how devices communicate with each other over the internet to robotics, thinking machines, cyber-security, data analytics and artificial intelligence, the choice of specialised careers is unrivalled. Typical roles in industry include software engineer, developer, analyst, project manager, software architect, tester and operational manager; career development opportunities are almost unlimited within the industry.

Further information

For more detailed information please contact the Head of Department Mr D Bowen ( or 01480 375700 ext 5802)

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: 02 November 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Course code: Cm