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A2 Level Computer Science

Further Details
Course Code
LA00104
Location
Yale
Duration
Full Time, The AS content is taught in the first year of study.
The A2 content is taught in the second year of study.
Department
A Levels
Start Date
04 Sep 2024
End Date
20 Jun 2025
Course Overview
This course has been designed for students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where knowledge of computer science would be beneficial. In this increasingly technological age, a study of computer science, and particularly how computers are used in the solution of a variety of problems is becoming a highly sought after skill. The course, with its emphasis on data abstraction, general problem-solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning, scientific and engineering-based thinking, is a good foundation for understanding these future challenges.

The A Level in Computer Science encourages learners to develop:
• An understanding of, and the ability to apply, the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation.
• The ability to analyse problems in computational terms and through practical experience solve such problems using an object oriented methodology.
• The capacity for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically.
• The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science.
• Mathematical skills, computer science uses mathematics to express its computational laws and processes e.g. Boolean algebra, comparison of complexity of algorithms, number representations and bases.
• The ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

Computer science integrates well with subjects across the curriculum. It demands both logical discipline and imaginative creativity in the selection and design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs. It relies on an understanding of the rules of language at a fundamental level and encourages an awareness of the management and organisation of computer systems.

One can study computer science and go on to a career in engineering, business, forensics, games, multimedia or any type of science.

AS Level (40% of full A Level)
Unit 1 – Fundamentals of Computer Science. This unit investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, data structures, software applications, programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.
Unit 2 – Practical Programming to Solve Problems. This unit 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 as a programming language.

A Level (the above plus a further 3 units)
A2 Level (60% of full A Level)
Unit 3 – This unit focuses on algorithm analysis, data structures, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.
Unit 4 – Computer Architecture, Data, Communication and Applications unit investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, organisation and structure of data, programs, algorithms and software applications.
Unit 5 – Programmed Solution to a Problem is a non-examined unit where the candidate will 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.

The main programming language for AS/A2 Computer Science is Visual Basic.Net 2015. However, a range of different languages are supported at A2 Level.
Year 1:
Unit 1: Fundamentals of Computer Science (Written paper: 2 hours, 25% of qualification)
Unit 2: Practical Programming to Solve problems (On-screen exam: 2 hours, 15% of qualification).

Year 2:
Unit 3: Programming and System Development (written paper: 2 hours, 20% of qualification).
Unit 4: Computer Architecture, Data, Communication and Applications (written paper: 2 hours, 20% of qualification)
Unit 5: The Practical Project (non- examined unit based on coursework: 20% of qualification).
5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including English Language / Welsh (1st Language) and meet the following criteria:

– GCSE Maths at grade B/6 or above on higher tier.

*Applicants are advised to take A level Maths alongside Computer Science if they wish to study the subject at university.

At Coleg Cambria we would encourage you to do the very best that you can in your exams. The better your grades the more options you will have, and may result in you gaining entry onto a higher level course.
A Level Computer Science is relevant to a wide range of Higher Education courses as well as providing the necessary preparation for university courses in Computing, Software Engineering, Information Systems, Games Design, etc.

Although many institutions do not require an A Level in Computer Science to gain entry onto a computing degree course, nevertheless, it will certainly make your application more favourable.
Some courses may require equipment and/or uniforms to be purchased. Please see attached equipment list for further information.
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