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Computer Science

Exam board: OCR HO46, H446

Why choose to study Computer Science

Course outline:

Computer Science is a practical subject where learners can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems. It is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism.

The OCR A Level in Computer Science will encourage learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by following a broad, coherent, practical, satisfying and worthwhile course of study.

It will provide insight into, and experience of how computer science works, stimulating learners’ curiosity and encouraging them to engage with computer science in their everyday lives and to make informed choices about further study or career choices.

Course structure

Component 01:

Computer systems

Students will learn the fundamentals of Computer Science. The resulting knowledge and understanding will underpin their work in component 03.

Component 1 covers:

  • the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software
  • data exchange between different systems
  • data types, data structures and algorithms legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues

Component 02:

Algorithms & programming

This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem-solving.

Component 2 covers:

  • what is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally etc.)
  • problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems
  • algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problem

Component 03:

  • Programming project
  • Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project.
  • They will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language.
  • The project is designed to be independently chosen by the student and provides them with the flexibility to investigate projects within the diverse field of computer science.
  • We support a wide and diverse range of languages.

AS Level

A2 Level

Computing Principles (01)

  • 70 marks
  • 1hr 15mins
  • Written paper ( no calculators)

50% of total AS Level

Computer Systems (01)

  • 140 marks
  • 2hrs 30mins
  • Written paper (no calculators)

40% of total A level

Algorithms and problem solving (02*)

  • 70 marks
  • 1hr 15mins
  • Written paper (no calculators)

50% of total AS level

Algorithms and problem solving (02*)

  • 140 marks
  • 2hrs 30mins
  • Written paper (no calculators)

40% of total A level

*synoptic assessment

Programming project(03)

  • 70 marks

20% of total A level


Essential student qualifications/abilities:

GCSE Mathematics grade 6

Desirable student qualifications/abilities:

GCSE Computer Science

Experience with programing (Preferably Python)

Higher education opportunities:

Student can progress from this qualification to degrees in the following subject areas:

  • Computer science
  • Information systems
  • Multimedia Technology
  • Software engineering
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Health informatics

Career opportunities:

  • Games developer
  • Information systems manager
  • IT consultant
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Systems analyst
  • Software developer
  • Systems developer
  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Secondary or Higher Education Teacher

Essential Field Trips involving financial commitment:

Trip to the London Science Museum to visit the Information Age exhibition.

The exhibition will allow students to:

  • Celebrate more than 200 years of innovation in information and communication technologies.
  • Re-live remarkable moments in history, told through the eyes of those who invented, operated or were affected by the new wave of technology, from the first BBC radio broadcast in 1922 to the dawn of digital TV.
  • Discover how wireless technology saved many lives on the Titanic and spread news of the disaster to the world within hours. You can also hear the personal stories of the operators who worked on the Enfield Telephone Exchange, the last manual telephone switchboard.


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