A Level ICT (Legacy - not available to first year A Level students)

What is Information and Communication Technology?

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the application of appropriate techniques to processing and communicating information. It involves understanding the concepts and methods of organising, manipulating, interpreting and distributing information. ICT is not a means of learning computer programming or the electronics behind computers but is about developing skills in using computer systems, applying those skills appropriately and developing awareness and understanding of the use of ICT within a business or commercial context.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

You do not need to have already followed any formal course in ICT and do not have to possess any specific practical IT skills as these can be developed within the course. However, if you do have such a background, this can be built upon. You do need to have a good command of English to cope with the comprehension of concepts and examination questions, some of which require essay-style answers. With a subject that is constantly changing and developing you need to be willing to ‘read around’ the subject and be constantly aware of new developments. ICT is relevant to careers in business and commerce, retail, medicine, manufacturing, education and many more and can complement any subject combination.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Teaching time is organised so that modules are taught sequentially. As ICT is an area of constant change and development, students are expected to read widely, watch appropriate TV programmes or news items and join in group discussions. Each week students will complete a written homework and a Timed Assignment on theory work covered in the previous week. A revision test will be given each half term. Practical homework will take the form of a set task, practice of new skills or continuation of coursework.

AS Specification Number
AQA 1521


At AS, the two units are complementary and are concerned with applying ICT to solve problems and the study of the opportunities for and affects of using ICT in the world today. Candidates will have the opportunity to put into practice a wide range of software and hardware to create solutions to solve problems.

Unit 1 (INFO1)

1h 30m exam 50% (25%)
Practical Problem Solving in the Digital World.

Practical use of ICT, identifying, designing, producing, testing, documenting and evaluating solutions. Data entry, storage, output of information, use of software, current health and safety legislation.

  • Section A: Short answer questions;
  • Section B: Three or more structured questions requiring discursive answers. All questions are compulsory.

Unit 2 (INFO2)

1h 30m exam 50% (25%)
Living in the Digital World.

ICT systems, their components, uses, safety and security. Data and information, data transfer, backup and recovery.

  • Section A: Short answer questions;
  • Section B: Three or more structured questions requiring discursive answers. All questions are compulsory.

Reading list

Spencer, McNee  AQA AS Information and Communication Technology  Nelson Thornes 
British Computer Society  A Glossary of Computing Terms  Longman 
P M Heathcot  A level ICT  Payne-Gallway 

Because of the rapidly changing nature of the subject, students will also be expected to gain knowledge of recent developments by reading magazines, newspaper articles and journals and by watching appropriate television programmes.

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

For the first two terms the teaching is organised so that 50% of the time is allocated to theory work and 50% to practical work. The emphasis in practical work, both in lessons and homework, is on the design and implementation of a system for assessment for Unit 4. Students are again
expected to read widely and draw upon a range of sources of information, particularly on new developments. Students will have developed background knowledge and understanding to enable them to take part fully in discussions, both oral and written. Students will be expected to
apply their knowledge to a variety of different situations and problems. Each week students will complete a timed assignment on theory work covered in the previous week and a written homework. In the third term, the whole of the time will be devoted to theory work, and in particular, revision and preparation for the written examinations.

A2 Specification Number
AQA 2521


At A2, students will study the concepts associated with the use of ICT in the 21st century. They will also have opportunities for acquiring skills needed in the IT profession such as co-operative working and project management. These practical skills can be developed in areas of ICT that are of interest to them. Students can also use these newly acquired skills as a springboard into other qualifications and working environments.

Unit 3 (INFO3)

2h exam 60% (30%)
The Use of ICT in the Digital World.

Developments in technology, information needs of organisations, ICT systems, management of ICT. Developing ICT systems, introducing large ICT systems into organisations. Training and supporting users of ICT systems.

Candidates will be provided with pre-release material which will be available on the AQA Website on 1 April for the June examination. The pre-release will be re- issued for use in the examination.

  • Section A: structured questions based on pre-release material;
  • Section B: questions requiring extended prose answers. All questions are compulsory.

Unit 4 (INFO4)

Coursework 40% (20%)
Practical Issues Involved in the Use of ICT in the Digital World. 

Practical issues involved in managing the use of ICT in organisations. Investigating, analysing, defining requirements. Selecting and using appropriate technologies, designing solutions, methods for testing and installation, documenting and evaluating.

Candidates must produce a report based upon their practical work/investigation.
The report will be internally marked and externally moderated

Reading list

Morgan, Haddock  AQA A2 Information and Communication Technology  Nelson Thornes 
British Computer Society  A Glossary of Computing Terms  Longman 
P M Heathcote  A level ICT  Payne-Gallway 
Julian Mott & Ian Rendell Database Projects in Access for Advanced Level Hodder Murray

Click - Full specification details to find out more.