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Computer Science

Computers and technology are at the heart of almost everything we do. Entertainment, business, transport and education all rely on computers. Understanding computing technology is a vital skill for the 21st century. Studying computer science will equip you with problem solving skills and technical insights that you can apply to a broad range of other disciplines too.

The A-level computer science course focuses on software development skills i.e. programming. However, we study a variety of other topics including how data is stored, networking and internal computer architecture.

Qualifications & Assessments

Exam Board OCR Specification A
Level Level 3
Qualification A Level
Assessment Method Examination with separate practical assessment
Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

We offer A-level Computer Science (AQA). The course is a linear A-level and will be assessed at the end of two years.  Assessment is through two examinations (80%) and coursework (20%).

Paper 1 – 40% of course

The focus of this unit is to develop you as an effective problem solver and programmer of computer based solutions to problems. The paper will be a two and a half hour practical examination undertaken on a computer.

Preparation for this exam will be around practical activities writing and developing computer programs in C# in order to solve a variety of problems.

Paper 2 – 40% of course

The focus for this unit is to develop your understanding of computing theory in a variety of areas including data storage, computer architecture, functional programming and networking. This paper will be a two and a half hour paper based examination.

The practical project – 20% of course

This is your opportunity to design, develop and test a system of your own. You have the freedom to build almost anything from apps to games, interactive websites to network tools. The choice is yours! This unit is an assessed piece of coursework.

Note: there is a 10% maths content to the A-level. This will include topics such as Boolean algebra, graph theory and number bases.

If you wish to pursue computing at University then you would probably go on to study Computer Science BSc. Such degrees often demand an A level in mathematics too. However, having studied computing would help you with any science or engineering degree.

In terms of career opportunities the options are plentiful. There are numerous apprenticeships being offered in ICT and there is still an acknowledged skills gap (less people than jobs) in the computing sector.

  • We have close industrial links with local employers and visit several companies including Barclays Bank (Knutsford), MBDA (Bolton) and ANS (Manchester) . We have visiting speakers from industry talk to our students.
  • We arrange open day events with local universities including MMU, UA92 and Manchester University.
  • Students have the opportunity to go on our annual trip to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. For more information about this trip please see the Trips and Travel page
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