Computer Science A Level
About the course
Learn to design, code and test your own computer programmes. Learn the fundamentals of computer systems, including the internet. This intensive two-year course could set you up for work in the Information Technology sector. Computer Science is an exciting but demanding subject.
The course emphasises the development of an analytical, problem solving approach which is sometimes called 'computational thinking’. This is an important life skill as well as one which is crucial in the growing world of digital technologies.
• Five GCSEs at grades 9-4/A*-C, including grade 4/C in English Language
• Grade 6 or above in GCSE Mathematics
• Grade 6 or above in GCSE Computer Science. If you do not have GCSE Computer Science at grade 6 you will need to pass an aptitude test before enrolment
• If you have not taken GCSE Computer Science, this A Level should be taken in combination with either A Level Electronics or A Level Maths
• Equivalent overseas qualifications will be considered.
• IELTS 5.5 (with a minimum of 5.0 in each skill) or equivalent.
From the start of the course you will learn the fundamentals of problem solving which you will put into practice by developing computer programs using Visual Basic .NET. Programming is creative and satisfying but demanding, especially when you are learning it for the first time.
It is crucial that you spend time every week developing your programming skills outside lessons. You will learn about the computer as an electronic device, and some of the core fundamentals of computing such as logic gates, Boolean algebra and number bases. Networks and internet technologies such as encryption are important areas of Computer Science and you will learn both the underlying theory and recent developments in this fast changing area. You will also learn about some of the ways that computer technology has made an impact on society.
In the second year of the course you will undertake a significant programming project which you will choose yourself. It is strongly recommended that you do some computer programming to help you decide if the subject is right for you, as programming is a very large component of the course. Any language will do, for example Python, Visual Basic, Java or C#. (Although HTML is useful and fun, it is not strictly a programming language).
Assessment is by final exam and coursework, and will test both your underlying knowledge of computing and your problem-solving skills.
Taken as one of three A Levels, Computer Science will allow you to progress to university or other Higher Education establishments. Taken in combination with Electronics or Maths, it will allow you to study Computing and Information Technology in much greater depth, or to start work in the Computing and Information Technology sector.
Sixth Form College
Studied: A Level: Maths, Further Maths, Computing , Physics
Destination: Computer Software Engineering at Imperial College
Ben grew up in East London and has always had a passion for numbers, science and gaming. In his A Levels, Ben’s hard work paid off as he achieved 2 A*and 2 A’s.
He said: “I was very worried about getting my first choice, but I am delighted that I will be going to Imperial College to study Computer Science. After I graduate I really want to work in the gaming industry.
“The learning environment at the College is excellent as it is very friendly and teachers always have time to help you whenever you need it. The facilities are excellent and there are loads of computers in the library to use whenever you need.”
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A Level entry requirements
Our Sixth Form College has a 25 year track record of delivering success. Over 30 A Levels are on offer from Physics to History of Art.
Sixth Form College
Based in vibrant Angel, the Sixth Form College has a 25 year track record of delivering success. There are over 30 A Levels on offer from Dance to History of Art to Science.