A Level Computer Science
The Computer Science course has been designed for students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where knowledge of computing would be beneficial (this includes careers in medicine, law, business, economics, politics or any type of science).

Programming is taught through a focus on problem-solving scenarios, whilst computer fundamentals, are taught alongside.

The emphasis is on computational thinking, which means abstract think-ing, general problem-solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning and scientific and engineering-based thinking. This course is not just about learning to use tools or training in a programming language, but will focus on the fundamentals of computer science.

Why study this subject at A-Level?

The Computer Science course will help you learn to think computationally, which means general problem-solving, algorithmic and mathematical reasoning and scientific and engineering-based thinking – all skills which are highly valued by top employers and universities. Most of our students have pursued computer science to degree level at top universities and then go onto well paid careers.

Summary of the course

Details of the course content can be found overleaf in the summary of content assessed within each component, or in detail within the specification online at the website listed. If you can think logically and creatively, are prepared to apply yourself to solving problems using a computer and will work hard, then this is the course for you.

Whilst having studied GCSE Computer Science is not compulsory for this course, having done it will give you a huge advantage. if you haven’t studied GCSE Computer Science you need to be prepared to work hard for the first few months to catch up with those who have.

How is the qualification assessed?

The A-Level assessment comprises of three components, with the exams sat at the end of Year 13.

Component 1: Computer Systems

  • (40% 2 hr 30 written exam)
  • This component investigates the characteristics of contemporary processors, input and output devices, software and software development, exchanging data, data types, data structures and algorithms, and legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.

Component 2: Algorithms and Programming

  • (40% 2 hr 30 written exam)
  • This component investigates elements of computational thinking, problem solving, programming and standard algorithms.

Component 3: Programmed Solution to a Problem

  • (20% Non-exam assessment – coursework)
  • Candidates discuss, investigate, design, prototype, refine and implement, test and evaluate a computerised solution to a problem chosen by the candidate which must be solved using original code (programming).

This is a substantial piece of work, undertaken over an extended period of time.
The project topic could involve a computer solution to:

  • a data processing problem of an organisation;
  • a scientific or mathematical problem;
  • a simulation of a real-life situation;
  • a computer-aided learning system.
computer programming

Entry Requirements

Applicants will require at least a Grade 6 in GCSE Computer Science or a Grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics.



Component 1 (40%)

2 hours 30 mins

Component 2 (40%)

2 hours 30 mins

Component 3 (20%)


computing a levvel