Examination Board & Code: OCR H446
Length of Course: 2 years to full A Level

What is Computer Science A level about?

Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism.
The aims of this qualification are to enable learners to develop: 
  • an understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. 
  • the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs. 
  • the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
  • mathematical skills

Is this course for me?

You will need to have a keen interest in Computer Science and experience of writing programs in at least one high level language. An interest in problem solving and good analytical skills are also important. You will need to have a GCSE in Computer Science at B grade or above and at least a level 5 in GCSE English and Maths.

What else do I need to know?

A variety of teaching styles will be used to deliver the knowledge, understanding and skills needed. Due to there being a non-examined assessment to this qualification, commitment is essential to seeing work through to the end and in ensuring all parts of the assessment, not just the programming element, are completed to the best of your ability.

What do other students say?

Computer science has linked well with my other studies in maths and science. It has helped me to improve my problem solving and analytical thinking skills. 
I’m really enjoying studying Computer Science as it is a more hands on approach than some of my other subjects and I’ve enjoyed the creativity.

Where could it lead?

This qualification is suitable for learners intending to pursue any career in which an understanding of technology is needed. The qualification is also suitable for any further study as part of a course of general education. It will provide learners with a range of transferable skills which will facilitate personal growth and foster cross curriculum links in areas such as maths, science and design and technology.

How is this course structured?

Unit Content Unit Assessment
Unit 1: Computer systems
This unit will introduce you 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. 
Examination – 2 hour 30 minutes
40% of the A Level
Unit 2: Algorithms and programming
In this unit you will learn about computational thinking, the benefits of applying it to solving problems and the principles of solving problems by computational methods. It teaches you to be able to use algorithms to describe problems and to be able to analyse a problem by identifying its component parts
Examination – 2 hour 30 minutes
40% of the A Level
Unit 3: Programming project
In this unit you will choose a computing problem to solve. You will carry out an analysis of the problem, design the solution, develop the solution and finally carry out an evaluation. 
Non-exam Assessment
20% of the A level