Computer Science

Examining Body: OCR 

Entry Criteria: Grade 6 GCSE Mathematics or Computer Science

A Level Computer Science splits learning into three sections: Computer Fundamentals, Programming Techniques and Logical Methods, and a Programming Project. It is a natural progression from GCSE Computer Science, providing the perfect springboard for students looking at specialising in acomputing-based career.Within the course, students study a range of theory topics, which include the principles and understanding linked to programming, topics such as hardware and software, networks, systems development life cycles and implications of computer use.

An A Level in Computer Science will develop your ability to:

  • Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • Apply skills in and an understanding of computing (including programming) in a range of contexts to solve problems
  • Delve into producing graphical user interfaces and object-orientated programming solutions

Through  the  creation  of  a  programming  project,   you   will   have   the   opportunity   to   create   a   substantial piece of software using modern design methods and in the programming language of your choice.


Component 01: Computer systems (written examination worth 40%)

You are introduced to the internal workings of the CPU, data exchange, software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. The resulting knowledge and understanding will underpin your work in component 03. It covers:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software
  • Data exchange between different systems
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Component 02: Algorithms and programming (written examination worth 40%)

It covers:

  • What is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally )
  • Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems
  • Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems

Component 03: Programming project (coursework worth 20%)

You are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project. You will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The project is designed to be independently chosen by you and provides you with the flexibility to investigate projects within the diverse field of computer science.

Ideal for students who:

  • Are looking to develop an advanced understanding of computer science
  • Want to apply their coding ability to solve real-world problems
  • Are looking at a computing orientated degree
  • Are aiming to work in the computing industry