Why study A Level Computer Science?

Advances in computing are transforming almost every aspect of our lives. Whether we want to find information, keep in touch with friends, read the latest bestselling novel, go shopping or keep fit, the way we do it has been transformed by technology.

Studying Computer Science will enable you to develop an in depth understanding of how computer technology works. It is an intellectually challenging yet very practical and rewarding discipline. You will learn how to make computers do exactly what you want them to, through the application of problem solving and computer programming skills.

What degree courses and further opportunities will A Level Computer Science lead onto?

The Russell Group guide to making choices about post-16 education lists Computer Science as a useful A Level qualification for the following degree courses:

Aeronautical Engineering, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Economics, Engineering, Electrical /Electronic Engineering, Geology, Earth Sciences, Materials Science, Maths, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Optometry, Physics, Psychology, Sociology

Furthermore, a Computer Science qualification will be highly valued by employers in just about every industry sector. From science to media, health-care to fashion, transport and engineering to name just a few. As all industries and workplaces are transformed by digital technology, employers will require people with an understanding of and skills in computer science to help them adapt to the 21st century world. Computer Scientists are not just hidden away writing code. Computer Science involves using technology to help people by designing and creating solutions to meet their needs.

What does studying A Level Computer Science involve?

On the course you will learn how to create new computer programs that solve real world problems. As well as gaining practical programming skills you will learn how to use computational thinking skills to solve problems. Furthermore, the course will enable you to develop your understanding of a range of technologies including networks, databases and ‘big data’. You will consider how developments in these and other technologies is changing our world.

What qualifications and skills are required to study A Level Computer Science?

The course builds upon skills developed in GCSE Computer Science, but is also open to students with no previous programming experience. It is recommended that students who have not previously studied Computer Science read up on what the course includes and have an idea about how simple computer programs work. Reading lists and recommended online tutorials can be provided upon request.

Key skills required for this subject are logical thinking and attention to detail together with enthusiasm for problem-solving and a fair amount of patience and perseverance.

Extra-curricular activities include:

  • National competitions e.g. CyberFirst (GCHQ’s national cyber security programme)
  • Visiting speakers from Computer Science related industries
  • University visits including to Computing Masterclass sessions such as Digital Detectives and The Internet of Things

For further information, please contact Mrs. Morton (j.morton@she.gdst.net)