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COMPUTER SCIENCE at Boston Spa Academy

Course description

Students who study Computer Science will be challenged and inspired to apply the knowledge they gain with the creative and technical skills that they acquire. The qualification will be focused on programming and computational thinking and will build on the knowledge base acquired on the GCSE course. Throughout the two-year course you will have the opportunity to solve problems using a range of programming tools;
including C#, JavaScript, SQL, HTML and CSS.

Course content

Component 1 - Computing Principles 
This component will introduce students to the internal workings of the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the exchange of data and will also look at software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. It will also offer the opportunity for students to analyse and design algorithms, and to study different types of software together with the methodologies that are used to develop them. This component involves advanced mathematics, including the representation and normalisation
of floating point numbers, the simplification of Boolean expressions, the use of two’s complement to represent numbers in binary, and using rules to derive or simplify Boolean expressions.

Component 2 - Algorithms and Problem Solving 
This component will incorporate and build on the knowledge and understanding gained in component 1. In addition, you will study:
• What is meant by computational thinking
• The benefits of applying computational thinking to solving a wide variety of problems
• The principles of solving problems by computational methods
• Using algorithms to describe problems
• Analysing a problem by identifying its component parts

This component focuses heavily on the reading and writing of complex algorithms including Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm and the A* algorithm. Again Mathematics is a feature of this unit, including the use of Big O notation to assess the complexity,
in terms of time and space, of an algorithm. 

Component 3 - Programming project
Students will be expected to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program. The underlying approach to the project is to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem. Students are expected to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development. This project is independent, meaning students will need to debug their program and spend time focused on the development of a complex piece of software.

Entry requirements

Achieve 5 or more standard GCSE passes or higher (grade 4 or higher).

Students who have previously studied this at GCSE would be expected to have achieved at least a grade 4.

Achieving a grade 6 or higher in GCSE Mathematics is desirable

Assessment

Component 1 – Computer Systems:
Written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes (140 marks),
40% of A Level.
 

Component 2 – Algorithms and Programming:
Written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes (140 marks),
40% of A Level.
 

Component 3 - Programming Project:
20% Non-exam assessment (NEA).
Solve a problem with a solution created in C# and Unity.
 

Future opportunities

Computer Science opens the door to a wide range of careers both within specialist IT companies and companies who use computers in industry, commerce, government service and the universities. Roles span technical innovation, management, analysis, consultancy, training and research. Jobs such as web designers, engineers and software developers all rely on a sound knowledge of Computer Science. It is also a highly regarded subject when it comes to entry for competitive places at higher education institutions

Further information

For further information contact the Sixth Form on 01937 846612

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: 09 November 2018
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