Computer Science A-level


 Computer Science: A Level

Duration of course: 2 Years                                                    Exam board: AQA


This course, with its emphasis on abstract thinking; general problem solving; algorithmic and mathematical reasoning; and engineering based thinking, is a good foundation for understanding future challenges in this fast moving technological world. Computing is an exciting course that gives you a strong understanding of how computers work and how to write your own programs.

Course details

There is a clear distinction between ICT and Computing. The two courses have been written to avoid any overlap of content. Computing is about designing new algorithms to solve new problems. Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. Many great challenges lie in the future for computer scientists to solve. This course covers the technical side of Computing including ‘Programming' and ‘Computer Architecture'.

Full A-level Course contents: Two year course

  1. Fundamentals of programming
  2. Fundamentals of data structures
  3. Fundamentals of algorithms
  4. Theory of computation
  5. Fundamentals of data representation
  6. Fundamentals of computer systems
  7. Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  8. Consequences of uses of computing
  9. Fundamentals of communication and networking
  10. Fundamentals of databases
  11. Big Data
  12. Fundamentals of functional programming
  13. Systematic approach to problem solving
  14. Non-exam assessment - the computing practical project 



How is it assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of formal exam and coursework. Computer Science also streamlined their assessment by allowing you to sit on-screen exams, one at the end of each year that focus on programming skills.


A-level Computer Science Assessments

Paper 1 – On-screen exam (2 hours 30 minutes) 40%

(This paper tests your ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of Computer Science from subject content 1-4 above and the skills required from section 13 above).


Paper 2 – Written exam (2 hours 30 minutes) 40%

(This paper tests your ability to answer questions from subject content 5-12 above).


Non-exam assessment 20%

(The non-exam assessment assesses your ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve or investigate a practical problem. You will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, as shown in section 13 above).


Course duration

Two years to gain the full A-level.

Entry requirements:

No prior knowledge of Computing or ICT is required

  • G Score: 36
  • GCSE English: 4
  • GCSE Maths: 6


Where can this lead me?

One can study Computer Science and go on to a career in Medicine, Law, Business, Politics or any type of Science. However, if you decide to do a Computer Science related degree then this A-level will be extremely useful.  Some universities demand Maths A-level as one of their requirements to do a computer science degree. (Please check university website for more information)


You will be part of the Computing & ICT department which is very active in organising enrichment activities. We organise various activities throughout the year such as University trips.  (The College has partnerships with Queen Mary University and Westminster University)

We also organise ‘Technology’ trips to various industries within the country and abroad.  Examples include: New York trip, ICT Live Conference – Paris, Microsoft – Think Computer Science, Visit to Land Rover, Thorpe Park with ICT seminar, The Gadget Show Live, Apple Store Workshop and much more.

Computing & ICT students are encouraged to take part in taster days, competitions and other trips and activities that are on offer.