What is Computer Science?

The course has a focus on application development, but students will study topics including: computer systems; hardware, software; operating systems; data representation and encryption; communications, networking and the Internet; databases; theory of computation; and moral, ethical and legal issues relating to computer science.

How is it studied?

AQA A-Level Computer Science is taught within the two-year, five-term and one year A-level programmes.

Computer Science is a two-year course which focuses on nurturing confidence and competence in the practical use of computer-based systems to develop solutions for real-world problems. Student will develop applications in one of the following computer languages: C#, Python, Java or Visual Basic.

OCR A-Level Computer Science is available as a two-term or one year retake programme. 

How is Computer Science assessed?

Exam Board: AQA


  • On-screen exam: 2 hours 30 minutes – 40% of grade
  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes – 40% of grade
  • Practical problem coursework: 20% of grade

What do I need?

No previous computing experience is required for this course. You do not need to have studied GCSE Computer Science or ICT. It is much more important to be a logical thinker and to enjoy solving puzzles and problems. This subject requires good basic numeracy, and a logical and analytical approach to solving problems. Students need to write a substantial report documenting their coursework, for which a reasonable standard of written English is required.

What should I study with Computer Science?

It is strongly recommended that you take A-Level Mathematics if you wish to study Computer Science at university. A-Level Computer Science also complements A-level Physics and Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics is a popular combination.

A-Level Computer Science and can also be a good subject to study alongside the College’s BTEC Level 3 Business Diploma as part of the BTEC Plus Programme.

What can I do with A-Level Computer Science?

The course can lead to a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. From there you can progress into such careers as: applications development; computer forensics; cyber security; games development; hardware engineering; multimedia programming; software engineering; systems/network management; mechanical support; and web design/development.

Questions about the course

Can I study A-Level Computer Science in one year?

As a retake student yes and if, as an international student, you have studied at least one of mathematics, physics or computer science to the equivalent of AS-Level in your country you can complete A-Level Computer Science in one year.

Do I need a computer?

Though the College has a computer laboratory for teaching sessions and for student use, most students find it useful to have their own computer for the individual coursework project.

Do I need any special software?

Yes. You will using an integrated development environment (IDE) to develop applications. The choice of IDE will be determined once you begin at the College. This IDE software can be obtained at no cost.