This course is for students with an interest in how computers and computer systems work, how they are constructed and programmed. You might be choosing computer science because you're headed for a computing career, though thinking computationally (logically, using reasoning, breaking complicated things down and being able to express instructions precisely) is a skill that can be used in a wide range of other careers too.
Computer Science is about understanding in detail, how computer systems actually work. Computers are part of every aspect of modern life, the microprocessor which lies at the heart of every computing system is found absolutely everywhere, from the PC on your desk to laptops, tablets, mobile phones, cars and microwave ovens. Modern society simply could not function without it but few people really understand how it all works.
Computer Science at A Level will give you a deep understanding of how it all fits together, from the microprocessor to memory, storage, operating systems and network architectures. Computer Science is varied, interesting and challenging. This A Level is a linear qualification which means that assessment will take place at the end of the 2-year course.
You’ll need to have a keen interest in computers, a logical mind and good technical, mathematical and problem solving skills because computing involves not only programming, which is logical, but sometimes needs a mathematical discipline. Computer Science particularly complements subjects such as Science and Maths.
The skills gained from studying Computer Science include the capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically including an understanding of the organisation of computer systems such as software, hardware, data, communications and people. Students will gain the ability to apply skills, knowledge and understanding of computing, including programming, in a range of contexts to solve problems.
Students take 2 written exams of 2.5hrs duration at the end of the course. You also complete a computing practical portfolio-based project (forming 20% of your total A level) by applying the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding problem you'll be expected to analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. You're expected to apply appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development.
To study A-Levels at MV16 you must have achieved a minimum of grade 4+ in GCSE English and Maths, plus 3 grade 5's in other subject areas and to include subject specific entry requirements where stated. To study Computer Science you must have achieved a minimum grade of '6' in GCSE Maths.
If you successfully complete A Level Computer Science, it could create career leading opportunities in related subjects such as Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering or Development, Web Development and Games Design, Database Management, Computer Networking, e-Business and Information Systems Management within the capacity of apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships or studying for a degree.