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A-Level Computer Science (AS)

Awarding Body

Course Code

Head of Department

Email

AQA

7516 Mr Alex Isaachsen isaach-a@beaconsfieldhigh.bucks.sch.uk

Why study this course?

Computer Science is one of the fastest growing academic disciplines. Part science, part creative and part humanities, it is theoretical, practical and challenging.

The one year AS course will introduce you to programming with a high level language, show you in detail how computers work and develop your understanding of the impact computing has had and will have in the future and  how they influence societies and individuals.

What level of prior knowledge, attainment and skills are required?

The AS course is a stand-alone course so there is no requirement to have done the GCSE Computer Science Course, however if you have done Computer Science at GCSE see our recommended minimum below:

  • Maths: Level 7
  • Computer Science: 7
  • Experience coding in Python or another High-Level Language

AS computer science would suit students who were either:

  • considering reading Computer Science, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence or some other course where a foundation in coding and how computers work will support their application
  • considering reading engineering, sciences, medicine or any other course that is using computers and technology in a transformational way...

What does the course cover and how is it structured?

Paper 1

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Systematic approach to problem solving
  • Theory of computation

Paper 2

  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking

For further details visit the AQA Computer Science AS page.

How is the course assessed?

There are two exams:

Paper 1: This paper tests a student's ability to program, as well as their theoretical knowledge of computer science

  • On-Screen Exam (1hr 45m)
  • 50% of AS

Paper 2: This paper tests a student's ability to answer questions from subject content listed above.

  • Written Exam (1hr 30m)
  • 50% of AS

How can families help?