A Level Computer Science

“This modern qualification gives an insight into a range of computing systems, including an understanding of the principles of programming and the solving of problems.”

Qualification

A Level

Awarding Body

AQA

Course Specification

Who to contact for more information about this course

Queries should be directed to Mr Cooley

Years taught

Year 12 and Year 13

What is the course structure?

This modern qualification gives an insight into a range of computing systems, including an understanding of the principles of programming and the solving of problems.

 

Through this qualification learners can develop the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.

 

It includes more computer science than traditional ICT.

 

It includes a practical coursework unit – which is the best way to assess a learner's level of practical skills in computing.

 

There is a simple assessment method, and examination papers are externally assessed It is excellent preparation for learners looking to take computing studies at degree level, or for anyone considering any kind of career in computing.

What will I study?

The course is made up of 3 units.

 

1. Computer Systems

 

This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark-scheme-type questions. It will cover the characteristics of contemporary systems architecture and other areas including the following:

 

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices

  • Software and software development

  • Exchanging data

  • Data types, data structures and algorithms

  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

 

2. Algorithms and Programming

 

This component will be a traditionally marked and structured question paper with two sections, both of which will include a mix of question types: short-answer, longer-answer, and levels of response mark-scheme-type questions.

 

Section A

Traditional questions concerning computational thinking:

  • Elements of computational thinking

  • Programming and problem solving

  • Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition

  • Algorithm design and efficiency

  • Standard algorithms

 

Section B

There'll be a scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving.

 

3. Programming Project

 

External postal moderation or repository.

 

Learners and/or centres select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable them to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. Learners will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

How is the course assessed?

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