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AS and A Level Computer Science

Board:

Cambridge International Examinations

Course code:

9608

Duration:

2 years (full A2 level) or 1 year (AS level)

Aims of the course:

To encourage learners to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of computer science and how computer programs work in a range of contexts.          

They will also be able to appreciate the ethical issues that arise with current and emerging computing technologies. 

Topics covered:

AS level

Theory fundamentals, including information representation, communication and internet technologies, hardware, processor fundamentals, system software, security, privacy, ethics  and relational data modelling.

Also programming and problem-solving fundamentals, incorporating algorithm design, data representation, programming and software development.

A2 level

Karnaugh maps, parallel processing, encryption protocols,  and monitoring and control systems. 

Also algorithm design methods, multiple programming paradigms and further software development concepts.

Assessed:

AS
Two externally assessed written examination papers, covering theory fundamentals and fundamental problem-solving and programming skills.

A2
Two further externally assessed written examination papers, covering advanced computing theory, and further problem-solving and programming concepts.

Assessment details:

AS

Paper 1 – theory fundamentals

1hr 30min examination, structured questions.

50% of AS grade / 25% of 2 year A-level grade.

Paper 2 – fundamental problem-solving and programming

2hr examination, structured questions revolving around pre-release material.

50% of AS grade / 25% of 2 year A-level grade.

A2

Paper 3 – advanced theory

1hr 30min examination, structured questions.

25% of 2 year A-level grade.

 


Paper 4 – further problem-solving and programming

2hr examination, structured questions revolving around pre-release material.

25% of 2 year A-level grade.

Leads to:

A-level Computer Science is a stimulating and thoroughly modern subject, which will equip students with an excellent grounding of the key concepts that underpin modern computing practices.  Technology is driving change across all industry sectors, and the students will be able to pursue a range of careers, including computing (of course), engineering, finance, energy services, manufacturing and many more besides.

Computer Science Lab