At Beverley Joint Sixth Form we will be offering Computer Science as a 2 year, A Level qualification. The content of A Level Computer Science is the similar across all examination boards. The course consists of 40% Computer Systems, 40% Algorithms and Programming and 20% Programming Project (Non-exam assessment). The structure of how this is assessed, however, does vary across different specifications. We will be delivering the Eduqas specification for this qualification. It is a linear qualification, meaning that students will sit all of their exams at the end of the course.
This content will be taught across both BGS and BHS, with 5 hours of in-class study. Students will be set approximately 1 hour of work from every lesson to be completed in their non-contact time. They will also have access to support sessions at both schools.
Component 1 Programming and System Development: This component investigate programs, data structures, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.
Component 2: This component investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, organisation and structure of data, programs, algorithms and software applications, building on knowledge and understanding gained in component 1.
Component 3: Learners will discuss, investigate, design, prototype, refine and implement, test and evaluate a computerised solution to a problem chosen by the candidate using original code (programming). They will document a program in a suitable programming language, applying the principles of computation thinking to a practical programming problem. Using appropriate principles from an agile development approach to the project development. The will document the agile development process and elements for each of the assessment categories will be evident throughout the project report. This is a substantial piece of work, undertaken over an extended period of time.
Why take Computer Science further?
As computers are such an integral part of the workplace in contemporary society, people with A-Level computing skills are in an extremely high demand. All around us is evidence of expertise in computing, not just in terms of how computers and programming work but the higher-level analytical skill required. Computer Science is relevant to the modern and changing world of computing. It is a practical subject where learners can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems. Computer science is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the world through a digital prism. Learners will develop computational thinking skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.
What skills will I get if I study Computer Science?
Having an A-Level Computer Science qualification is highly regarded when you venture into employment or to university. Having an A-Leval computer science qualification opens you up to a world of possibilities, with so many avenues and sectors you can get into. Computer Science at A-level will prepare you for one of the many courses available at university including; computer science; software engineering; engineering; business and computing or computing graphics amongst others.
Studying A-Level Computer Science, you will gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how computers work, from the microprocessor to memory, storage, operating systems and network architectures. You will develop knowledge of programming theory and acquire practical skills in developing software programs. You will be analysing user requirements, design and implementation of solutions.
A level Computer Science is naturally a strong subject to take if wishing to go on to do Computer Science at degree level. Equally there are a number of software engineering courses which have Computer Science as a pre-requisite and a number of degree courses such as Information Technology and Information Systems which will be served well by taking a Computer Science A Level.
Students who wish to study for a Computer Science degree should combine it with A Level Mathematics as this is a pre-requisite at many universities.
The programming project is of particular relevance to Further Education, Higher Education and the work place.
Computer Science A Level is listed as a useful advance level qualification for studying degrees such as: Aeronautical Engineering, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science (some courses list it as essential), Economics, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Engineering (General), Geological/Earth Sciences, Materials Science, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Optometry, Orthoptics, Physics, Psychology, Sociology.
It can lead onto careers in: Software Development; Database Administration; Computer Hardware Engineering; Software Engineering; Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Network Architecture; Web Development; Information Security Analysis; Information Research; Computer Programming; Computer and Information Systems Management; Project Management.