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Course overview

The aims of this qualification are:
The WJEC Eduqas A level in Computer Science encourages learners to develop:
An understanding of, and the ability to apply, the fundamental principle and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
The capacity for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
Mathematical skills
Boolean algebra
Comparison of complexity of algorithms
Number representations and bases
The ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

How will I learn?
The course includes a wide variety of learning experiences such as lectures, one to one tutorials, ICT based tasks, practical work, group work, discussions/debates, DVDs, and personal research when preparing for assessment and lots of practical programming skills.

Component 1: Programming and System Development - Written Examination: 2 hours 45 minutes worth 40% of qualification
1. Data Structures
2. Logical Operations
3. Algorithms and Programming
4. Principles of Programming
5. Systems Analysis
6. System Design
7. Software Engineering
8. Program Construction
9. Economic, moral, legal, ethical and cultural issues relating to Computer Science

Component 2: Computer Architecture, Data, Communication and Applications - Written examination: 2 hours 45 minutes worth 40% of qualification
1. Hardware and Communication
2. Data Transmission
3. Data Representation and Data Types
4. Organisation and Structure of Data
5. Databases and Distributed Systems
6. Operating Systems
7. The need for different types of Software and their Attributes
8. Data Security and Integrity Processes

Component 3: Programmed Solution to a Problem - Non-exam assessment - 20% of qualification
1. Discussion
2. Investigation
3. Design
4. Prototype
5. Post-Prototype Refinement
6. Software Development
7. Testing
8. Evaluation

What else do I need to know?

Studying Computing provides an excellent general qualification for many careers. You will be able to use it to progress to Higher Education

What are the entry requirements?

You will have high overall GCSEs with a minimum of five 9-4 grades, which should include three or more at grade 5 or above. Your GCSEs should include English at a minimum of grade 4 and Maths or GCSE Computing at grade 5.

How is it assessed?

Assessment is comprised three components:
1. Component 1: Programming and System Development - Written Examination: 2 hours 45 minutes worth 40% of qualification
2. Component 2: Computer Architecture, Data, Communication and Applications - Written examination: 2 hours 45 minutes worth 40% of qualification
3. Component 3: Programmed Solution to a Problem - Non-exam assessment - 20% of qualification

What financial support is on offer?

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group please contact 01782 254188.
College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £23,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit www.nscg.ac.uk/finance

What can I do next?

When you have gained your A Level in Computing you can use it to progress into Higher Education. There are a wide range of undergraduate degrees available in computing both locally and further afield. Both Staffordshire and Keele University offer Computing options currently, these can be combined with many other subjects. Employers are interested in both the technical and the non-technical skills gained during your computer science/IT degree. See where these multiple skills can lead you...

Games developer
Information systems manager, IT consultant
System Analyst, Systems Developer
Database Administrator
Multimedia Programmer
Business Analyst
Hardware Engineer, Software Engineer, Network Engineer
Researcher

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
IT Sales, Research, Finance, Technical Author
IT Trainer, Secondary School Teacher, Geographical Information Systems Officer

How do I find out more?

If you wish to find out more you can contact Lesley Kelly/Steph Tague, Head of Computing at NSCG using the following details. Email: lesley.kelly@nscg.ac.uk or stephanie.tague@nscg.ac.uk
Tel: 01782 715111

Computing & ICT

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