Computer Science

Sarah Carney
Head of Maths

Sarah.Carney@ncpontefract.ac.uk

Why should I study Computer Science?

Why should I study this subject?

Computer Science covers the technical aspects of computers, such as computer architecture, networking, database and programming as well as the theory of computation and the moral, ethical, legal and cultural issues surrounding the subject. It is an intensely creative subject that enables students to develop skills in analysis, problem solving, invention and innovation and investigates the relationships between the natural and digital worlds.

What will I study?

  • Fundamentals of programming, data structures, data representation and algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems, organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Communication and networking
  • Database
  • Functional programming


What are the entry requirements?

Level 4 in English Language and a Level 6 Maths and B in Computer Science with a minimum average GCSE point score of 5.2.

What skills do I need?

Good mathematical and analytical skills with strengths in logic and problem solving. It is extremely important that you have a keen interest in computing.

How will I be taught?

Computer Science is taught by one teacher for each group. Students can expect three 1 ½ hours lessons per week, split between practical and theory.

How will I be assessed?

There are two 2½ hour examinations at the end of the second year, each contributing 40% of the final mark. A non-exam assessment Programming Project completes the other 20%.

Please note that with an 80/20 split, the emphasis of this course is on the theoretical aspects of Computer Science.

What will the course prepare me for?

This course will provide an opportunity to continue your studies at university on a wide variety of pathways including Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Games Programming and Software Engineering, as well as a range of joint degrees.

How much private study should I expect to do?

As an approximate guideline A-Level subjects require four to five hours of independent study each week.

What materials will I need to purchase?

You will benefit greatly from having Microsoft Office. Student licences can be purchased privately at a cost of approximately £60 from www.software4students.co.uk

What is the exam board?

OCR

This subject is for you if
you enjoy problem solving, are a competent mathematician and have a keen interest in computing.

This subject is not for you if
you find it difficult to prepare for exams.