North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021

Computer science

Why study computer science?

Computers are increasingly becoming an integral part of every business. Mobile apps and the internet continue to transform the way we work, play and communicate. An understanding of computer science not only trains you to think logically, but prepares you for the future. Computer science A-level is suitable for anyone with an interest in current and future technology. The course content covers programming, data structures, problem solving, theory of computation, data representation, computer systems, computer architecture, legal and ethical consequences of computing, communications, networking, databases and ‘big data’. GCSE computer science is not a
prerequisite for the course.

What our students say

“The logical skills you gain throughout the course in working through problems are transferable and invaluable in all my other subjects. Computer science is one of the most constantly changing industries and it is becoming ever more important in society, so being able to study it at A-Level opens the door for so many future career opportunities. If you enjoy maths, science, working through logical puzzles or technology in general, studying computer science is the perfect combination of all of these.” Matthew

“I like computer science because it gives you a greater insight to the way in which computers and anything with a processor works. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to know the intricacies of how the technology that surrounds us all the time is working, and how we can interact with it. The spread of career paths within computer science is so large, due to nearly every single company using computers, meaning there will always be jobs available.” James

“Computer science has been an enjoyable experience for me; it has allowed me to further develop my logical and creative thinking especially when trying to discover solutions to coding problems. I particularly enjoy the logical puzzles throughout certain aspects of the course such as the logic gates and the traversal algorithms. It has also further developed my independence due to the NEA as I’ve had to cultivate without direct guidance, which will be useful for the future. Technology is advancing at an incredible rate and it’s more important than ever to learn about computers as more and more things can simply be done online.” Tien

“I enjoy studying computer science at A-level because it allows me to explore the fastest growing subject in the world. Computer science moves rapidly and new developments are being discovered on an almost daily basis. This combined with the problem-solving approach need for the subject makes every task interesting and new. The coding aspect allows a real-life application of the skills taught which very few subjects can offer, allowing me to further explore the subject in my own way. Computer science applies to every part of my life and understanding the subject allows me to understand the world around me, and solve problems in both maths and biology.” Nathan

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in mathematics at GCSE and a 6 in an ICT related GCSE

Potential courses

  • ICT
  • Business studies
  • Finance
  • Engineering
  • DT
  • Artificial intelligence

Potential careers

  • Business analyst
  • Market researcher
  • IT consultant
  • Software engineer
  • Civil service
  • Web designer
  • Marketing
  • Database administrator
  • Multimedia programmer
  • 3D graphic designer

The A-level course

% of A-levelContent
Paper 140An on-screen examination lasting 2 hours 30 minutes. This paper tests your ability to program, as well as your theoretical knowledge of computer science, in particular data structures and algorithms.
Paper 220A written examination lasting 2 hours 30 minutes. This paper tests your understanding of the fundamentals of computer science; in particular data, software and hardware, networks and communications.
Non-examined assessment20The non-examined assessment assesses your ability to use the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course to solve a real-world problem. For example, a business or scientific simulation, a database, a website or an app or game for a mobile phone or tablet.

Or, if you prefer to chat with someone please call our admissions team on 0113 228 5121