The course provides a solid grounding in computing theory and problem solving. It consists of both theory and practical work. Some of the theory topics will have been touched upon at GCSE level, but are now significantly more advanced. In the second year, students will be required to create their own project. They will need to investigate, design, prototype, implement and evaluate a computerised solution to a problem. It is an ideal course if you are planning to do mathematics, computer science, engineering or robotics at university, it is also useful if you have ambitions to work in the games, software or programming industries.
Component 1: Fundamentals of Computer Science, written exam (2hrs) – 70%
This component investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, data structures, software applications, programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.
Component 2: Practical Programming to Solve Problems, on-screen examination (2hrs 15mins) – 30%
This component consists of a series of set tasks completed on-screen by candidates. These tasks will assess the practical application of knowledge and understanding and will require the use of Visual Basic.NET, Python or Java as a programming language.
Component 1: Programming and System Development, written exam (2hrs 45mins) – 40%
This component investigates programs, data structures, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.
Component 2: Computer Architecture, Data, Communication and Applications, written exam (2hrs 45mins) – 40%
This component investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, organisation and structure of data, programs, algorithms and software applications.
Component 3: Programmed Solution to a Problem, non-exam assessment – 20%
Candidates discuss, investigate, design, prototype, refine and implement, test and evaluate a computerised solution to a problem chosen by the candidate which must be solved using original code (programming). This is a substantial piece of work, undertaken over an extended period of time.