Computer Science A Level

A Level | AQA

Computer Science is becoming an increasingly important part of almost every part of our lives. Studying Computer Science will enable you to understand data and the machines and methods that manipulate it.

Computer Science is much more than just using computers. It is the study of computation, data and information, and is a subject that will allow you to understand the fundamentals behinds the technological revolution that has transformed the world in the last 30 years.

Practical skills form the heart of Computer Science developing a systematic approach to solving problems. This, together with a strong focus on the models describing computer systems, provides a course that is recognised for its academic worth.

During the first year, you will develop strong programming skills. In the second year, we look in more detail at systems development, processing and advanced programming techniques.

Course details

What are the entry requirements?

A minimum of five GCSE subjects at Grade 4 or above including Grade 4 in English and Grade 6 in Mathematics. The Mathematics grade is particularly important because of the logical, mathematical and problem-solving skills in Computer Science. Our most successful students are those who study Mathematics alongside Computer Science. 

Although many of our students already have well-developed IT skills, there is no requirement for a formal qualification in Computer Science or ICT.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the 2 years, there will be benchmarks to help you monitor your progression through the course. The A level has written and on-screen tests that cover all aspects of the 2 year course. There is also an individual project worth 20% of the assessment.

The coursework is completely open and allows students to create a novel solution. In recent years students have created a wide range of styles of program e.g. AI game-playing bots, scheduling apps and World Bank data analysis tools. 

What extra work can I do?

Students are encouraged to follow academic and technical developments in the world of Computer Science. Relevant social media feeds, podcasts and journals are well advertised.

We welcome students with no previous experience in computer science and suggest they complete an online introduction to programming prior to starting the course.

If you like the challenge of advanced software development, then Computer Science is for you! The skills you learn will serve you well in both Higher Education and your working life.

What skills will I learn?

We make classroom learning as active as possible. Incorporating demonstrations and practical work for both programming and theory topics. 

We believe students gain a greater understanding by experiencing the subject first-hand. Students will work individually and in small groups completing tasks that develop skills alongside the knowledge. 

Alongside programming and systems design, Computer Science will provide the opportunity to develop your skills in information technology and communication, as well as improving your planning and study skills. During the course, you will use several programming languages in the classroom:, Assembly, and Haskell. We encourage students to apply their skills to other languages and we support: Java, Python, C++, PHP, JavaScript 

What is the department like?

The DCT and Computer Science departments share well-equipped rooms within the main college building. These are fitted with modern PCs, which are updated on a regular basis, and electronic whiteboards for demonstrations and presentations. 

All computers are connected to the College Network, which also provides access to our e-learning system, ‘Godalming Online’ and to the Internet. Students are allocated a user area to store their College work and are provided with a College e-mail address. 

The rooms contain peripheral devices including a colour laser printer/scanner/photocopier. 

Friendly and enthusiastic tutors, who are supported by a team of efficient technicians, teach the courses. 

About 50 students study Computer Science at any one time. The Department has enjoyed an excellent pass rate in recent years and it is possible to achieve at the highest standard in what is acknowledged nationally to be a difficult subject.

We hope our students will derive enjoyment and satisfaction from the study of Computer Science.

Future Careers and Progression

What are the progression routes for this qualification?

The majority of student go on to study related degree courses, but we encourage students to explore a range of options including the many excellent Degree Apprenticeships in the subject.

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