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A Level: Computer Science

Information and Communication Technology

Information and Communication Technology
Information and Communication Technology

What will you be working towards?

Code 60145699
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Study computing if you want to explore and investigate how computers work and are used. You are most likely to enjoy the subject if you have a real interest in science, technology and/or mathematics; you are a logical thinker and enjoy problem solving.


The specification truly reflects the essence of Computer Science; is recognized by Higher Education as a rigorous scientific subject; and reveals the subject to be a fundamental, academic discipline underpinning other subjects. Paper 1 – 40% of A-Level – 21⁄2 hour on-screen examination

• Programming – imperative procedural-oriented, OOP, recursive techniques

• Data structures – arrays, lists, dictionaries, hash tables, queue, graph, tree, stack, vector, fields, records, files (text & binary)

• Algorithms – traversal, search, sort, optimization

• Theory of computation – abstraction, automation, FSM with and without output, language hierarchy, complexity, Turing machines

Paper 2 – 40% of A-Level – 21⁄2 hour written examination

• Data representation – number systems/bases, information coding systems, encryption

• Computer systems – logic gates, Boolean algebra, program translator types, classification of programming languages, system software

• Computer organisation and architecture – machine code/assembly language, CPU, internal components of computer, external hardware devices (limited range)

• Consequences of uses of computing – software and their algorithms embed moral & cultural values, issue of scale brings potential for great good but also ability to cause great harm, challenges facing legislators

• Communication and networking – communication methods/basics, network topology, wireless, the Internet, TCP/ IP, CRUD applications and REST, JSON, JavaScript

• Databases – data modelling, relational database, SQL, client server databases

• Big Data – volume/velocity/variety, fact-based model, distributed processing and functional programming

• Fundamentals of functional programming – function type, first-class object, function application, partial function application, composition of functions, map, filter, reduce, lists

Project – 20% of A-Level – practical project Non-exam assessment allows you to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical problem of interest over an extended period.

How will it be delivered?


Entry requirements

6 grade 5s (or equivalent), including at least grade 5 in English Language or Literature.

6 or above in Maths.

6 or above in Computing if taken at GCSE.


Your next steps...

Computer Science is a subject which is becoming more and more central to every type of business. A good foundation in computing will enable you to follow one of a wide variety of career paths. Well qualified and skilled programmers are in great demand as shown in numerous surveys. Further specialized study can lead to employment in the gaming industries. A computing qualification is a good basis for work as a technician, consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, analyst, data modeler, systems administrator, network administrator, software developer or programmer. The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on the skills you will develop, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, design, financial and resource management, science and medicine.


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