Computer Science A level

In this, the ‘Digital Age’, computer programmes have all but infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Computer scientists theorise, design, develop, and apply the software and hardware for the programmes we use day in, day out. Problems in science, engineering, health care, and so many other areas can be solved by computers. You will learn about the theoretical concepts behind Computer Science and its practical application. You will develop the skills required to solve programming tasks in a variety of programming languages such as, Python, Java and Visual Basic (VB.Net)

Course Content

The AS course covers the following topics: Fundamentals of programming, fundamentals of data structures, systematic approaches to problem solving theory of computation, fundamentals of data representation, fundamentals of computer systems, fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture, consequences of uses of computing and fundamentals of communication and networking.

In general you will learn to differentiate between different data types and become familiar with:

  • The three combining principles (sequence, iteration/repetition and selection/choice) which are basic to all imperative programming languages
  • Arithmetic operations in programming such as addition, subtraction, integer division etc
  • Subroutines, procedures and functions

You will also:

  • Be able to explain the advantages of using subroutines in programs
  • Learn how to use Boolean logic such as: NOT, AND, OR and XOR
  • Learn how to use constants and variables in programing, and how to apply them in your program and the differences between different data structures, such as, arrays, records etc
  • Know the theory of a project or system life cycle and be able to apply the steps in your practical work
  • Be able to express the solution to a simple problem as an algorithm using pseudo-code

The A2 course covers the following topics:

• Relational databases and functional programming. The theory of computation, the consequences of uses of computing, the systematic approach to problem solving
• Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project

You will:

• expand your existing knowledge of programming at a higher level as well as study object oriented programming
• learn relational databases design and implementation techniques
• have an understanding and knowledge of the basic internal components of a computer system and the role of the processor
• have the opportunity to learn truth tables, logic gates, Boolean algebra and binary
• understand network architecture and topologies, plus communication methods and data transmission. Internet security will be also dealt with among other network issues
• Learn classification of software programs

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Where does it lead?

There is a shortage of programmers in the UK; therefore the possibilities are great for students with a degree in Computer Science in this country and abroad. Apart from the field of programming you may find opportunities in networking and computer architecture.

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