Computer Science A Level

Overview

Computer Science is a subject that will appeal to students who are interested in a future working with computers or in related areas such as Electronics and Engineering. It is a very ‘hands on’ subject that focuses heavily on computer programming, as well as the theoretical understanding of how computers work.

What goes well with this course?

Computer Science goes well with Mathematics, Science and Design courses.

Progression

Computer Science is highly regarded by top universities and is an excellent foundation for Computing university courses such as:
 
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Engineering
  • Computer Game Development
  • Creative Computing (With Gaming/Animation)
  • Networking and Security
  • Computer Forensics
  • Interactive Media
  • Web Technologies
  • Mobile Computing
 
An alternate progression route is an Apprenticeship. There are a wide variety of Apprenticeships relevant to this course, such as:
 
  • IT Support Engineer
  • IT Consultant
  • Developer
  • Tester
  • Service Desk Engineer
  • IT Web Developer
  • IT Application Specialist
  • Networking Apprentice
  • Cisco Apprenticeship Programme
 
Previous students have gone on to take related degree courses at universities including Cambridge, Imperial, Bristol, Warwick and York and have been offered some interesting apprenticeship opportunities. 

Course Content

Over half of the course is practical computer programming work. The programming language studied is Java. The course also looks at methods of problem-solving and the theory of how computers and telecommunications systems work. Students will gain valuable programming and analytical problem solving skills by taking Computer Science.

 

The course covers topics such as:

  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Communcation & networking
  • Systems life cycle
  • Databases
  • Algorithms & data structures
  • Comparing algorithms, searching & sorting
  • Computational thinking
  • Number representation vectors
  • Regular languages
  • Object oriented programming & functional programming
  • Communication & networking

In preparation for the first year of this course, please take a look at our Starting with Confidence leaflet, which will give you a head start when you begin the course in September.

Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

Computer Science A Level students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In recent years, these have included:

  • Representatives from City University London delivering a Computing Masterclass to students

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s:

Activities Programme and Guest Speaker Programme.

Assessment

There are two theory exams (both worth 40%) and one piece of coursework (20%). The coursework topic is selected by the student with guidance from the teacher.

The exam board for this A Level is AQA.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements:  

  • Grade 6 in Maths, or
  • Grade 5 in Maths and Grade 6 in Computer Science or Physics (6,6 in Comibined Science)

GCSE Computer Science is not a requirement for this course, however a strong aptitude in Maths is.

This course will suit students who are:

  • Interested in Computers, Design, Engineering, Technology and Electronics
  • Good at problem-solving and using logic
  • Original, creative, organised, and analytical thinkers

This is a problem-solving subject that requires students to think in a clear and logical way. Most students combine this course with either Mathematics or a Science subject. Students not taking either of these, might consider BTEC Level 3 Computing as an alternative.

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2018

The application form for the academic year 2018-2019 is available to download here.

Students from non-partner schools must return their forms directly to Reigate College, NOT their schools. All applications will be considered according the College's Admissions Policy.

Students from partner schools (Reigate, Warwick, de Stafford and Oakwood) should return their completed Partner Schools Application Form to their school. 

The initial cut-off date for applications for entry September 2018 is 1st November 2017. A student's chances of obtaining a place are higher, the earlier the application is made. Students who apply after 1st November 2017 will be placed on a waiting list.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

Download Course Leaflet

Download the Computer Science A Level information leaflet.

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