Introduction

Have you ever wondered how a computer works or thinks or have you considered the complexities of what goes on inside “the box”?  This course allows students to explore the answers to these questions, through problem solving, programming and practical experience.

 Entry requirements

GCSE Maths at grade 6 and GCSE Computer Science at grade 6

Course Content

Computer Science is a subject that explores the study of computation and is also about what can be computed and how to compute it.   Computer Science considers questions that have the potential to change how we view the world.  You will be encouraged to develop an appreciation of the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science – including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation. This course enables you to apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems. It is a creative subject that helps you to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. You will learn how to analyse issues, design complex algorithms and write programs to solve problems.   The course is not just about programming and systematic problem solving, it also covers a wide range of other topics, including hardware, database design, data structures, big data, fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture, algorithm complexity and networking.

Future Opportunities

Many students who take Computer Science often go on to study it at university, or they take another science or mathematical subject and use their knowledge of computing to enhance and support their studies.  Computing combines well with a range of science and mathematics subjects, leading to university study in areas such as medicine, law, business, politics or sciences. By taking the course you will not just develop your computing knowledge but also enhance characteristics such as thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically, all of which employers look for in future employment.

Assessment: This course is assessed through 20% coursework and 80% examinations.

 

Areas of Study

Year 12

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Systematic approach to problem solving
  • Theory of computation
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking.

 

Year 13

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking
  • Fundamentals of databases
  • Big Data
  • Fundamentals of functional programming
  • Systematic approach to problem solving
  • Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project.