DEPARTMENT

ICT and Computer Science

A level Board/code

AQA

AS Code: 7516

A Level Code: 7517

What do we cover in the course?

Key syllabus elements

The Computer Science syllabus covers:

  • Programming – Data types, arithmetic operations, relational operations, boolean operations, constants and variables, string-handling operations, random-number generation, exception handling, subroutines, global variables, structured programming
  • Data structures – arrays, fields, files and records
  • Problem solving – Analysis, design, implementation, testing and evaluation
  • Theory of computation – Abstraction and automation, finite state machines
  • Fundamentals of algorithms – Problem-solving, writing algorithms, abstraction, decomposition, automation, finite state machines
  • Data representation – Number systems, number bases, binary number system, information coding systems, representing images, sound and other data, data compression and encryption
  • Computer systems – Hardware and software, operating systems, programming languages, program translators, logic gates, boolean algebra
  • Organisation and architecture – Internal hardware components, the stored programme concept, structure and role of the processor, external hardware devices
  • Consequences of computing – Individual, social, legal and cultural issues and opportunities
  • Communication and networking – Communication methods and basics, network topologies and wireless networking
  • Computing practical project using a systematic approach to problem solving

How is it assessed?

Key assessment elements

AS 

1h30m On-screen exam testing programming and theoretical ability

50% of the overall AS grade

1h30m written exam covering knowledge of the overall course content.

50% of the overall AS grade

A Level 

2h30m On-screen exam testing programming and theoretical ability

40% of the overall A Level grade

2h30m written exam covering knowledge of the overall course content.

40% of the overall A Level grade

Computing practical project

20% of the overall A Level grade

Key skills required

You should enjoy and be good at understanding logical processes and solving mathematical problems. Also important in this subject is communicating effectively in speech and writing and planning your own learning.

What entry requirements are there to study this course?

A GCSE in ICT or Computer Science would be preferred, but is not mandatory.

What is the course useful for?

Students often go on to careers connected with IT, including System or database administration.

Training or teaching others to use computer systems

Systems analyst / programmer

Software engineer