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Course overview

This is a logical subject where you will learn how to solve complex, multidimensional problems which require imagination and sensitivity to technological, moral, legal and scientific issues. Technology touches almost every aspect of our lives, from the cars we drive, to the films we watch, to the ways businesses and governments communicate with us. Understanding different dimensions of computing is part of the necessary skill set whether you want to be a scientist or develop the latest must-have application.

Entry requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 5/4 or above, including English Language. Students will be expected to have a minimum grade 6 in Mathematics and Computer Science.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to study Computer Science but you can demonstrate that you are at a Level 2 standard in programming, you may be considered.

Topics you will study

Component 01: Computer systems

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices

  • Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software

  • Data exchange between different systems

  • Data types, data structures and algorithms

  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.


Component 02: Algorithms and programming

  • What is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally etc.)

  • Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems

  • Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems.


Component 03: Programming project

  • Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project. You will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. 

Key features

Computer Science will encourage learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by following a broad, coherent, practical, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It will provide insight into, and experience of how computer science works, stimulating your curiosity and encouraging you to engage with computer science in your everyday lives and to make informed choices about further study or career choices.

The key features of this specification encourage: 

emphasis on problem solving using computers 

emphasis on computer programming and algorithms

emphasis on the mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes, e.g. Boolean algebra/logic and comparison of the complexity of algorithms 

less emphasis on ICT

The course is split into the following three components:

1. Computer systems (40%)

2. Algorithms and programming (40%)

3. Programming project (20%)

Assessment

Components 1 and 2 are assessed through written examination at the end of the second-year. 

Component 3 is assessed through the submission of a completed coded solution to a given problem.

Exam Board: OCR

Enrichment and Work Experience

You will have the opportunity to join the Cisco Network Academy where you can gain industry recognised skills in areas such as Networking and Cyber Security. Computer Science students also have the opportunity to gain Microsoft qualifications in MS Office applications including Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Word. These practical skill are highly sought after and valued by employers.

The course gives an insight into a variety of careers by engaging with a range of local businesses and guest speakers. There is an expectation to complete a one-week work placement. You will be proactive in finding a placement that will enable you to use your computing skills and to enrich your experience so that any applications for university or employment will show that you have good practical, as well as good academic levels of achievement.

Why choose B6?

You will be taught by experienced teaching staff who are experts in their field. A variety of delivery styles are used to optimise your potential and you will be supported at every level to achieve the best grades you can. You will have access to industry standard software and high quality hardware resources.

Future career opportunities

Successful students can progress to degree courses including: computer science, information technology, media communications and also business and communication systems. Career options are broad; you may find yourself writing code for the latest hi-tech gadgets, or mission-critical projects such as nuclear submarines, aeroplanes, or working as a hardware engineer designing the latest biometric sensors.

Additional information

The computer science project constitutes 20% of the overall grade and students will need to use a real-life client to work with in order to design and code and effective solution to a problem.

Han Zhang

Han Zhang

Studying:
A Level Business, Computer Science and Mathematics

Previous school:
Sharples School

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