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A Level Computer Science

This is a course for those with a genuine interest in understanding and using computers. The course has a significant amount of practical programming, where students develop and test computer applications using a visual programming language. The theoretical part of the course covers the principles of how computers work and the constructs behind program development.

Entry Requirements

You must meet the College entry requirements for an A Level course of at least five GCSEs at a Grade C or above.  This must include Mathematics at grade 6 or above as problem solving, logical processing and abstract concepts are fundamental to Computer Science.

It is not necessary for you to have studied Computing or IT at GCSE.

Course Content

Year 1

The first year concentrates on acquiring the fundamentals of Computer Science. Students will learn and understand software development, computer architecture, data representation and structures. Practical programming in VB.Net is used to solve problems and create algorithms.

Year 2

The second year builds on the knowledge and understanding acquired in the first year. This is applied to a computerised solution to a problem, chosen by the student as a non-examined assessment worth 20% of their overall qualification. The solution will be developed using VB.Net and SQL Server.

How will I be taught?

This course will be taught in well-equipped computer rooms three times a week.

Theoretical principles and algorithms will be introduced and you will be expected to carry out problem solving activities using the installed programming language, as well as written tasks.

You will be expected to complete homework every week and must be prepared to work independently outside of lesson and on a computer.

How will I be assessed?

As Computer Science is a linear subject you will be assessed at the end of the 2 year course as below:

Component 1 – Programming and System Development

Written examination: 2 hours 45 minutes

40% of qualification

Component 2 – Computer Architecture, Data, Communications and Applications

Written examination: 2 hours 45 minutes

40% of qualification

Component 3 – Programmed solution to a problem

Non- exam assessment. It is internally assessed and externally moderated

20% of qualification

Will I need any extra equipment?

Extra equipment is not essential as all PCs in the library have VB.Net installed and Office 365 is available.

What qualifications will I get?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded an A Level in Computer Science.

What will it allow me to do in the future?

A good A Level pass in a range of subjects will assist you to progress to Higher Education or appropriate employment.

The majority of our A Level Computer Science students go to university to study courses, including Computer Science, Cyber Security, Robotics, Mathematics, Physics, Electronics or Engineering, whilst others have elected to go directly into industry, gaining advanced Apprenticeships with companies such as IBM, Xyratex and BAE Systems.

Further Information

All information was accurate at the time of publishing, and may be subject to change.

For general College enquiries, please call 023 9279 7979 or email college@southdowns.ac.uk.

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