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Computer Science

Computer Science

The course

Computers streamline the management of an organisation. The course will help you understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society. Computers are a much-needed tool for every business, banking, government, entertainment, daily life, industry, education, and administration. In this course you will explore fundamentals of algorithms, programming, fundamentals of data representation, computer systems and cyber security. You will also cover structured query language (SQL) and the ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy.

What skills do I need?

You will be required to demonstrate the ability to create programs and analyse problems. You need to showcase aptitude for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically. You must have the ability to be able to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills from the full course of study in order to be able to answer a range of differing style of exam questions. There are no pre-requisites to this course and no prior knowledge of programming is required to start, just a passion for the subject.

How is the course assessed?

This course is assessed by 2 exams, paper 1 and paper 2. Students also need to satisfy the practical programming requirements. Paper 1 is on Computational thinking and programming skills. This paper focuses on computational thinking, code tracing, problem-solving, programming concepts including the design of effective algorithms and the designing, writing, testing and refining of code. This is a 2-hour written exam and it is worth 50% of the overall GCSE. Paper 2 is on computing concepts . This unit covers data representation, computer systems, fundamentals of computer networks, cyber security, relational databases and the ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy. This is a 1 hour and 45 minutes written exams and is worth 50% of the overall GCSE grade. Both Paper 1 and 2 contain a mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing programming, practical problem-solving and computational thinking skills.

Course Books

(provided by the college)

GCSE AQA Computer Science 8525 Course textbook
By S Robson and PM Heathcote
Published by PG Online Limited; Illustrated edition (31 Mar. 2020), ISBN-10 1910523224 ISBN-13 978-1910523223

Learning to Program in Python Crash Course in Coding for Python 3.x Beginners Guide in Programming with Examples and Challenges Course textbook
By PM Heathcote
Published by PG Online Limited; Illustrated edition (23 Jun. 2017), ISBN-10 1910523119 ISBN-13 : 978-1910523117

Exam Board and Specification Codes

AQA 8525B (Python)

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