Computer ScienceA Level

The new A Level, developed by AQA, combines programming and problem solving with network infrastructures and the role of computers in society. This course offers students the chance to learn advanced skills in programming and to examine the way computer systems are interconnected and thus interdependent.

Subject Content

  1. Fundamentals of programming
  2. Fundamentals of data structures
  3. Fundamentals of algorithms
  4. Theory of computation
  5. Fundamentals of data representation
  6. Fundamentals of computer systems
  7. Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  8. Consequences of uses of computing
  9. Fundamentals of communication and networking
  10. Fundamentals of databases
  11. Big Data
  12. Fundamentals of functional programming
  13. Systematic approach to problem solving
  14. Non-exam assessment - the computing practical project

Assessments

Paper 1

  • What's assessed: this paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of Computer Science from subject content 1-4 above.
  • On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A-level
  • Students answer a series of short questions and write/adapt/extend programs in an Electronic Answer Document provided by us. We will use Preliminary Material, a Skeleton Program and, where appropriate, test data, for use in the exam.

Paper 2

  • What's assessed: this paper tests a student's ability to answer questions from subject content 5-12 above.
  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 40% of A-level
  • Compulsory short-answer and extended-answer questions.

Non-exam Assessment

  • What's assessed: the non-exam assessment assesses student's ability to use the knowledge and skills gained through the course to solve a practical problem. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, as shown in section 13 above.
  • 20% of A-level

Software/Hardware Recommendations

We use Microsoft Visual Studio and VB.NET as our programming language, this is available for free for students to install on their own computers but only runs on Windows 7, 8 or 10. Therefore, it is recommended that students have their own Windows laptop.