Computer Science

Course Description

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 or grade 5 in Computer Science. Previous experience of coding is also desirable.

Features of the Course

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%)


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

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.

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.

Links With Other Subjects

Many subjects complement Computer Science, particularly Mathematics and Physics.

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.

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

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.