A minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE including a C grade in GCSE English Language and a grade B in Maths.
What will I study?
Practical programming forms a significant element of the course. Programming in Python on the Raspberry Pi’s develops skills in programming that are developed throughout the course. Students will also gain an understanding of all levels of programming languages. Strategies for problem-solving are studied, together with information management techniques. Students will gain an understanding of computer hardware and software functionality as well as a detailed appreciation of how computer architectures operate. The course addresses all stages of the life cycle of computer software. The background to computing, including its consequences in society, is also a focus.
The course is organised into four modules including practical programming elements in both years. The modules are:
- Computer Fundamentals - hardware, software, the structure and management of data and systems development life cycle.
- Programming Techniques and Logical Methods - problem-solving, writing and testing programs and the structure of languages.
- Advanced Computer Theory - functionality of operating systems, computer architectures, data representation and structures, programming in low level languages (including assembler code on the Raspberry Pi) and an understanding of database design.
- Computing Project - production of an individual coded system and associated documentation for a real client.
Good course combinations
This course combines well with most other A Levels.
How will I be assessed?
Year 1: Two written examinations (1 hour 30 mins) (50 per cent).
Year 2: One written examination (2 hours) (60 per cent).
Practical project – code and coursework report documenting a programmed solution to a real problem (40 per cent).
What could it lead to?
Computer Science is an extremely useful A Level leading into a wide variety of computer-based disciplines plus technologically rich subjects such as engineering or science. It combines well with maths and sciences. This new qualification was written in consultation with universities and industry to accelerate success at degree or foundation degree (available at York College), whilst also ensuring a pathway into employment in industry involving computing or problem-solving skills.