Computer Science A Level

Qualification: GCE A Level in Computer Science
Exam Board & Specification Code: OCR; H446; Specification
Course Entry Requirements: B/6 in Maths GCSE.
Please make sure that you have understood the overall entry requirements to study at BHASVIC. These are available here and outline the GCSE grades you need to take up one of the Programmes of Study at the college.
Length and size of qualification: 2 year single course
Timetable hours: 4.5 hours per week
Assessment method: 2 x 2.5 hour exams plus a programming project
BHASVIC Department: Computing and I.T.
Head of Department: Ruth Hilliard

What will I study?

You will spend two years becoming a strong programmer who is able to use a range of different languages and programming styles. Through this, you will learn how different algorithms are used to solve different types of problem. You will also cover a wide range of computing theory topics, learning more about how computer systems use logic, Boolean algebra, binary and hexadecimal number systems, how IDEs translate code & run it, different types of and uses for today’s processors, how operating systems manage a computer, networks and how they direct traffic, web technologies and the databases behind them. As part of the course you will undertake a complex project worth 20% of your A Level. The project allows you to pursue something of personal interest. Many students choose to develop a game or app for mobile platforms / PCs, a website with a back-end database, or use Raspberry Pi’s for hardware related ideas e.g. remote-controlled home management systems.

Is this course right for me?

If you enjoy problem solving and are good at Maths as well as taking a logical approach to tasks then this is the right course for you. The course will give you a great head start if you want to go on and study it at a higher level. Most students study Maths and Physics alongside, our new BTEC courses in either Computing or IT would work well with this course, also other science A Levels. There are two exams at the end of the course worth 80% of your total marks. The course has a lot of mathematical content, from the decision-type maths area. If you choose not to study Maths A Level it may make understanding some of the theoretical aspects very tough and limit your options for HE.

Where next?

A vast array of jobs exists within the field of Computer Science including Analyst, Programmer and Developer roles. There are opportunities within many sectors such as telecommunications, aerospace and defence, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, public and third sectors. This course enables progression into higher education in a wide range of degree areas such as computing, engineering and mathematics. Equally, the course supports direct entry into the computing industry e.g. apprenticeships in Digital Cyber Security. A Degree Apprenticeship in Software Engineering (where you earn a salary and have your university fees paid) is another possible progression route from this course. Useful websites to research careers and wider progression options could include The Tech Partnership, Target Careers, BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, All About Careers and The Apprenticeship Guide.

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