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A Level Computer Science

Course Level: 

Level 3

Job opportunities after this course: 

Some students follow an alternative career path, for example: apprenticeships, police force, RAF or a range of jobs in business, software or the computer industry.

Overview of the course: 

Awarding Body - OCR

An A-Level in Computer Science is useful for all kinds of careers, whether it be a career in computing such as software development, programming, network engineering, web design, cyber security or ethical hacking, or a career in business, science, technology, engineering or mathematics. In fact, the skills you will develop on a computer science course are valued by many employers and can be transferred to lots of careers.

Computer Science is an exciting, creative subject in which you will practically apply academic principles learned in the classroom to solve real-world problems. This course is an excellent choice for you if you enjoy imagining, designing and creating new and innovative solutions that can be shared and that might one day become part new technologies that haven’t yet been dreamed of.

The course covers the following topics, amongst others:
Computer programming, computational thinking and problem solving, pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition, algorithms, data types and structures, characteristics of computers and software, software design and legal, ethical, cultural and moral issues in computing.

Putting theory into practice is at the heart of this A-Level and much of your work will involve practical, hands-on development of computer programs. You will take the AS exams at the end of year one and the A level exams at the end of year two.

Entry requirements: 

For Computer Science you will need Grade 6 or above in GCSE Computer Science and grade 6 or above in GCSE Mathematics.

For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of five 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.

For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of six 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at 9-7 grade.
Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.


Computer Systems: Input, output and storage. Software development lifecycle. The Arithmetic and Logic Unit and registers and how they relate to assembly language programming. Procedural languages: assembly language and Little Man Computer. Working with binary numbers. Object-oriented languages, programming constructs, data structures CISC and RISC processors. Multicore and parallel systems. Operating systems, memory management, BIOS, device drivers and virtual machines. Boolean logic and algebra. Networking. Relational databases, SQL. Web design and programming.

Algorithms and Programming: Object-oriented programming. Programming constructs. Global and local variables. Modularity, functions, procedures and parameter passing. Using IDEs to develop and debug programs. Logic and decisions. Problem solving and abstraction. Computational thinking. Algorithm analysis and design. Standard algorithms.

Programming Project – A-Level only
Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. The problem must be analysed and a solution designed, implemented and evaluated.

On this course you will be taught through a variety of different methods, theory lessons, independent research and practical programming. You will also be expected to support self-study using the internet, text books and information sheets.

Computer Science AS and A-Level has more maths focus than previous ICT qualifications. The maths is specific to Computer Science and most of it is embedded in the course.

How is the course assessed?: 

You will be assessed by two formal written examinations - 1 at the end of AS year and 1 at the end of A2.

Further study options after this course: 

After the completion of this course most students study Higher Education at University on computing –related courses.

Length of the course: 

2 Years, Full Time.


Peterlee Campus

When does the course start: 

September 2019

More important information about this course:


*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (27 Jun 2019 13:09) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

What our students say: 

We regularly work with QDP, the UK’s largest independent provider of questionnaire based feedback services to the education sector, so that any results can be benchmarked against other colleges and the voices of over 600,000 learners QDP gathers feedback from over the course of an academic year.
Our feedback scores consistently place us in the top quartile of colleges in the country, indicating that we not only meet but often exceed student expectations. Some results from the 2015/2016 on programme and exit surveys and the 2016/17 induction survey can be seen below.
98% stated it was easy to apply for the course
96% said the teaching on my course is good
99% felt that their teacher knows their subject well
97% told us they felt safe at college
98% said expected standards of behaviour were made clear
95% told us they felt they had developed the skills they needed to get a job/take their next step
95% agreed the teachers consistently challenge them to do their best
97% said teacher feedback told them what was going well and where to improve

The following information comes from Career Explorer, an online tool designed to help you research your education and career options. Here you will find information on jobs right here in the region, including links to actual job vacancies, potential earnings and our courses that can help you achieve an outstanding future. Click here to explore Career Explorer further..

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.
Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

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