WHAT IS COMPUTER SCIENCE?
Computer science is an exciting, innovative and creative subject, with far-reaching effects and benefits to society, commerce, health and engineering.
The most important aspect of computer science is problem solving and the study of computers and computational systems; this includes their theory, design, development and application in solving problems. Principal areas of study within computer science include artificial intelligence, computer systems and networks, cybersecurity, database systems, human computer interaction, vision and graphics, numerical analysis, programming, software engineering, bioinformatics and theory of computing.
WHY STUDY THIS COURSE?
Computer science is a subject that is constantly developing day to day; you will learn new things about the technology and its impact on you and the wider world. Whether it is the prospect of self-driving cars, the rise of artificial intelligence or the latest cybersecurity breach, computer science is an ever-expanding subject area that will keep you interested throughout your studies. Studying computer science at RSFC will effectively prepare you for further study in the world of computing as well as developing a range of transferable skills that will support you in progression to a variety of courses/roles.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM COMPUTER SCIENCE?
You will develop an in-depth understanding of computer science theory and expand your practical skills in both the use of software and programming languages.
This subject promotes your analytical, logical and problem-solving skills through the application of your learning to real world scenarios. You will be given the opportunity to choose your own programming project in which you create a software and hardware solution to a problem or as part of an investigation into an area of computer science. You will also have the opportunity to go beyond the A level as we invite industry experts to speak, run workshops with you and take part in regional, national and international competitions.
HOW IS THE COURSE ASSESSED?
Assessment is through two examinations worth 40% each and one non-exam based assessment worth 20% of your final grade. You will complete the two externally assessed examinations at the end of the second year, one of which is on a computer.
WHO IS THE COURSE SUITABLE FOR?
If you enjoy problem solving, mathematics, are a logical thinker and passionate about new technologies then this is the course for you.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN A LEVEL IN COMPUTER SCIENCE?
Universities and employers value a good grade in computer science at A level since it requires the development of analytical thinking and problem solving skills. This course also lays an appropriate foundation for further study of computer science, artificial intelligence, engineering, physics, mathematics or related courses in higher education. Those students who wish to pursue a career by gaining an apprenticeship will be in a strong position to apply for junior development roles.
WHAT WILL I STUDY?
You will study three units throughout the two year course; completing two examinations at the end of the two years. You will also complete one piece of coursework in the form of a project which will contribute towards your final grade.
Component 1 is worth 40% of the A-Level and will be assessed at the end of year two in the form of an exam. In this unit you will learn how computers operate internally, the theory behind programming and the Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues of computing.
Component 2 is worth 40% of the A-Level and will be assessed at the end of year two in the form of an exam. This unit builds upon the problem solving, algorithm design and programming skills that you learned in component 1 and teaches you to apply them to practical situations.
Component 3 is worth 20% of the A-Level and will be assessed in the form of a project. You will decide on a problem, analyse the problem, design a computer based solution, program/develop the solution and evaluate your project work.