an introduction to a-level computer science

A brief overview from our A-level teachers.

What does it involve?

A-level Computer Science explores the rapidly evolving world of computers through both theoretical understanding of the fundamentals of computer science and practical programming experience using Python. Topics covered include programming and algorithms, computer organisation and architecture, communications and networking, databases, Big Data and the consequences of the uses of computing.

A-level Computer Science students will gain a technical understanding and application of computer systems. They will be well-prepared for 21st century life and work having developed comprehensive logical thinking skills and the ability to apply complex problem solving expertise to any situation.Computer Science is a practical subject and ideal for any student who enjoys puzzles and problem solving. Students will learn to apply the academic principles covered in the classroom, drawing on problem solving skills, powers of analysis and the ability to evaluate and make decisions.

How is it assessed?

This takes the form of two written papers, assessing programming ability, theoretical knowledge and subject content, each worth 40% of the A-level grade. There is also a non-examination programming project worth 20% of the final mark.

Which skills or qualifications do I need?

A GCSE in Computer Science is preferred in order to study this subject at A-level, but students with a good pass in Mathematics (Grade 7 or above) may also apply.

University or employment prospects?

A Computer Science A-level is a vital springboard for any student wishing to study the subject at university.

Computer Science graduates are highly employable with job options ranging from software developer to systems technician to cyber crime analyst. Students go on to work in fields ranging from video games to investment banking.