This course is ideal for any student who enjoys puzzles and problem solving and is considering a career where expertise with computers and networks is important.
A Level Computer Science is ideal for any student who enjoys puzzles and problem solving and is considering a career where expertise with computers and networks is important. You will develop a broad understanding of the key principles of computer systems, including data, hardware, software and communications. You will learn to use high and low-level programming and web development languages, how to analyse and design solutions to real-world challenges, about the implementation of programming solutions and how data is stored and represented by a computer.
You will focus on problem solving, programming and data representation, as well as computer components and the internet. Areas of study also include operating systems and networking. For students more interested in how computers are used by individuals and organisations in everyday life, the A Level in Computing is recommended.
A Level Computer Science at DLD is delivered in an interesting and stimulating style, using a range of innovative web 2.0 resources combined with the best traditional teaching methods to provide an environment that caters for anyone, regardless of their favourite way of learning. Theory content is delivered using a variety of styles from zooming online presentation to egg-boxes and bits of rolled-up paper via tests using voting handsets.
Assessment: Coursework (20%) Exam (80%)
Duration: 1 year (AS)/2 years (A Level)
Entry requirements: Standard entry requirements.
Exam board: AQA
Computer Science requires enthusiasm and an interest in new technology. Students should ideally have a good grade in Maths GCSE or Computer Science GCSE as there will be a high content level of Maths in this course. You do not need to be particularly good at using the computer and you do not even need to have a computer at home, and you may have completed some coding or programming courses, although it would help.
Computer Science is a great subject in its own right – it gives you practical skills but also allows you to develop an understanding of the role and impact of computing in the world. As such, it can really go with any combination of subjects as the transferable skills you will develop will be useful in any career or path of study. Those students wishing to pursue a Computer Science degree should combine it with A Level Maths as this is a pre-requisite at some universities.
In terms of subjects that go particularly well with Computer Science, Maths is a very popular option as much of the A2 theory involves studying the decision logic. Physics and Psychology are interesting combinations; particularly with the increased dependence that we have on computers in our lives and the rate at which artificial intelligence is progressing.
Maths, Economics and the Sciences are good choices to study alongside Computer Science as the practical skills developed will prove most useful.
A key subject for students planning to continue on to university and study subjects including computer science, computer game development, software engineering, information systems, music technology and networking and electronics at degree level. Alternatively, students may consider direct entry into related employment.
The practical skills that Computer Science gives are transferable and of benefit in every walk of life, whether it is helping you manage long word processed documents such as your PhD thesis, using spreadsheets to help create statistical models or starting you on the path to creating a web design company.
Computer Science does not tie you in to a particular academic area or career path, but gives you the skills to cope with technical barriers that may previously have caused problems. Doctors, lawyers, designers, Architects, film directors, business leaders all need to have a basic understanding of technical issues and technical proficiency and A-level Computer Science will give you that foundation.
Many universities run courses that link Computer Science closely with other subjects such as Finance or Artificial Intelligence as well as offering courses that focus just on Computer Science. At the last count UCAS listed over 300 courses involving Computer Science – one of them is bound to be right for you.
Q Can I do the course in one year?
Q Do I need to have studied Computing before?
To study A Levels, your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.5.
At the start of each academic year of study students following an A Level course without a pass at Level 5/Grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English training course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside A Level lessons.
If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the A Level programme you will normally be offered a place on the one year Academic Preparation Course (pre A Level) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.