Course Description

This course has been designed for students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where knowledge of Computing would be beneficial. Students can study Computer Science and go on to a career in medicine, law, business, politics or any type of science. Advances in computing are transforming the way we work and this course has been designed to follow the current changes.

Course Content

This project will allow students to develop their practical skills in the context of solving a realistic problem or carrying out an investigation. Students have the opportunity to work independently on a problem of interest over an extended period, during which they can enhance their programming skills and deepen their understanding of Computer Science. Some examples of the types of projects are:

  • a simulation, for example, of a business or scientific nature, or an investigation of a well-known problem such as the game of life
  • a solution to a data processing problem for an organisation, such as membership systems
  • a computer game
  • the solution of an optimisation problem, such as production of a rota, shortest-path problems or route finding
  • an application of artificial intelligence
  • a control system, operated using a device such as an Arduino board
  • a website with dynamic content, driven by a database back-end
  • an app for a mobile phone or tablet
  • an investigation into an area of computing, such as rendering a three-dimensional world on screen
  • investigating an area of data science using, for example, Twitter feed data or online public data sets
  • investigating machine learning algorithms

How will I be assessed?

There are two examination units (40% weighting each) and a non-exam assessment (20% weighting) which together make up the A level over the two years. The first examination unit tests the student’s ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science from the perspective of the fundamentals of programming and data structures, software development and the theory of computation.

The second exam unit is a written paper which tests the student’s ability to answer questions on the fundamentals of data representation, computer systems, computer organisation and architecture and communication and networking, databases, functional programming as well as the consequences of using computers and Big Data.