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A level Computer Science Course

What board do we do? AQA, AS/A level code: AS (7516) A-level (7517)

The new AS and A levels in Computer Science are now "stand-alone" qualifications.

Marks gained at AS level do not contribute in any way to the final grade at A level.

What is Computer Science?
Computer Science is a discipline which requires thinking both in abstract and in concrete terms. On a higher level, computer science is concerned with problem solving: modelling and analysing problems, designing solutions, and implementing them. Problem solving requires precision, creativity, and careful reasoning.

In AS and A level Computer Science, students learn the principles of computation and algorithms, computer programming, machine data representation, computer systems (hardware and software), computer organisation and architecture, communications and networking, databases and the consequences of using computing.

Which subjects combine well with Computer Science?  Computer Science has strong connections to many other disciplines. Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, and Economics combine well with Computer Science. 

Students who wish to study for a Computer Science degree should combine it with A Level Mathematics as this is a pre-requisite at many universities.

What can Computer Science lead to? A good grade in Computer Science at A level is valued by universities and employers since it requires the development of analytical thinking and problem solving skills. This course also lays an appropriate foundation for further study of Computer Science, Engineering, Physics or related subjects in higher education.

Many problems in the sciences, engineering, health care, business and other areas can be solved effectively with computers, but finding a solution requires both computer science expertise and knowledge of the particular application domain. Thus, computer scientists often become proficient in other subjects. 

AS level

AS Paper 1 on-screen exam:                       50% of the marks

Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document.

This paper tests a student's programming ability, and theoretical knowledge of data structures, systematic problem solving, and the theory of computation.

AS Paper 2 written exam:               50% of the marks

This paper tests the fundamentals of data representation, computer systems (hardware and software), computer architecture and organisation,  communications and networking, and the consequences of using computing.

A level

A level Paper 1 on-screen exam:                 40% of the marks

Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an electronic answer document.

This paper tests a student's programming ability, and theoretical knowledge of data structures, systematic problem solving, and the theory of computation.

A level Paper 2 written exam:                     40% of the marks

This paper tests the fundamentals of data representation, computer systems (hardware and software), computer architecture and organisation, communications and networking, the consequences of using computing, databases and big data, and functional programming..

Non exam assessment:                                 20% of the marks

This course work unit assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem.

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