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GCE AS/A Level Computer Science

Programme Description

Computers are widely used in all aspects of business, industry, government, education, leisure and the home. In this increasingly technological age, a study of computer science, and particularly how computers are used in the solution of a variety of problems is essential to the future well-being of the country. The ability to think logically and be able to carefully design and plan is a valuable skill. This course places a large emphasis on computer programming using modern visual languages.

A keen interest and enthusiasm for wanting to write your own bespoke programs is essential and interest in both hardware and software will be an advantage as the theory content covers many aspects of these topics.

Programme Features

You will be expected to have 

  • an understanding of, and the ability to apply, the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so.
  • the capacity for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically  the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
  • mathematical skills
  • the ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

Progression & Employment

This course provides the essential building blocks of logical and applied thinking. It will allow transfer of these skills to all walks of life. You will be able to recognise a problem, analyse it and provide a solution.

With emphasis being placed on Computer Science, this area can provide you with many employment opportunities in a variety of disciplines.

Many students choose to study Computer Science further at University level, whilst others use it as a solid logical base to study other subjects. Students have secured places to study this subject at many of the prestigious Russell Group Universities.

Programme Content

This course is split into 5 units. Two are done at AS level. Three are done at A2 level.

  1. AS UNIT 1: Fundamentals of Computer Science
  2. AS UNIT 2: Practical programming to solve problems

  3. A2 UNIT 3: Programming and System Development
  4. A2 UNIT 4: Computer Architecture, Data Communication and Applications
  5. A2 UNIT 5: Programmed Solution to a Problem

Programme Assessment

AS units will be assessed..

UNIT 1 - written examination - 2hrs - 25% of qualification

UNIT 2 - onscreen examination - 2hrs - 15% of qualification


A2 units will be assessed..

UNIT 3 - written examination - 2hrs - 20% of qualification

UNIT 4 - written examination - 2hrs - 20% of qualification

UNIT 5 - non exam project - 20% of qualification

Programme Entry Requirements

Computing can be taken at AS Level without prior study of the subject. Normally, students 16 - 19 years of age will require a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grades A* - C; adult learners will be allowed on the course at the department's discretion.

Grade B in GCSE Mathematics (Higher Tier);

Grade C in GCSE English;

GCSE Computer Science is advantageous, but not essential.

Additional Costs

A home PC capable of running Windows 10 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2019

Most typed work can be done using Google Docs and Google Slides, so there is no requirement to purchase software for this.

There may be a requirement in UNIT5 to make use of Microsoft Access, so the cost of this may be something to take into account