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Computer Science A Level at Birkenhead Sixth Form College

Course description

How do computer languages work and how are they used in the real world?

How is computer software designed?

What is a computer network and why are they important?

How do processors work?


Is Computer Science for you?
  • You want to learn more about how software is designed and implemented in a programming language.
  • You want to develop problem-solving skills.
  • You prefer to learn how Internet technologies and processors work rather than spending time designing web pages (this is covered in Information and Communications Technology).
  • You want to concentrate on the fundamentals of hardware and software, networking and practical systems development.
  • You have good mathematical skills and want to use it to learn a programming language to code your own project in the second year.
  • You are keen to do extra reading outside of class, making use of the Department’s specialised collection of books, magazines and journals.
  • You may wish to consider studying AS/A2 Maths or Statistics alongside this subject to help you develop the necessary mathematical skills required to study Computer Science.

Course content

AS Year

Computing Principles

You will gain an appreciation of computing fundamentals, including hardware, software, the presentation, structure and management of data, how data is transmitted and networked,
the life cycle of systems development, the characteristics of information systems, and the implications of computer use.

Algorithims & Problem Solving

You will be introduced to Visual Basic. You will use it to create small, easy to code programmes that will illustrate basic concepts in the understanding of how computer languages work and are used.



A2 Year

Computer Systems

You will learn about the function of operating systems, the function and purpose of translators, how computer architectures are
structured, how data is represented, how data is structured and manipulated, high level language programming paradigms, low level languages and how databases function.

Algorithims & Programming

You will build upon your experience gained in the previous programming module to build up to more complex examples that will allow you to develop many of the skills and techniques you will need to attempt the online exam.Programming ProjectYou will apply principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem. To do this you will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in MS Visual Studio. This module prepares candidates for any course at university that involves technical projects, especially those that are coded. The skills developed would be beneficial to anyone wanting to work in software development.


Computer Science teaching staff will use a wide variety of teaching methods to lead you to success. These range from short lectures and demonstrations to independent learning exercises that you carry out in your own time.

Entry requirements

You must have achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including a at least a grade B in GCSE Maths.


The AS year will be assessed through 100% written examination, however in the A2 year, you will start your practical coursework project which will make up 20% of the overall assessment.

Future opportunities

After successfully completing the AS or A Level in Computer Science, you may consider developing your studies at a higher level. Computer Science and ICT courses are very popular subject choices at degree level with possibilities including Computer Science, Multimedia, Web Design, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Business
Systems and Electronics.

Job opportunities in Computer Science are excellent and your skills could lead you to employment anywhere in the world.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Birkenhead Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 25 October 2016
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