Exam Board - AQA


What is Computer Science A level and why study it?

Computer Science is a subject for problem-solvers of all kinds, not just those whose dream is to become a programmer. Computer Science A level focuses on building your computational thinking skills – a way of thinking about solving problems in any aspect of life or career that is highly desired by employers in most industries. Of course, there is ample opportunity to apply these skills in practical programming situations.


The subject is divided into two parts: Computing Principles and Algorithms and Problem Solving. Computing Principles is focused predominantly on non-programming content and will cover:

  • Contemporary processors and hardware, including input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Legal, moral and ethical issues such as environmental concerns and the impact of artificial intelligence on employment
  • Programming, including data types, data structures and algorithms


The second part is Algorithms and Problem Solving. This component will focus solely on how to approach solving problems using a unique skillset known as computational thinking. You will then apply these skills when developing your own algorithms and computer programs.


In Year 13, you will also complete a Programming Project (worth 20% of your final grade) where you will where you will devise your own real-life problem and its solution using code. This will be completed using an agile development approach.


Computer Science is a challenging theoretical and practical subject that will ultimately equip you with a skillset and toolkit unique to computer scientists to solve problems, not just of a programming nature. An A level in Computer Science will give you a solid foundation in a subject that will increasingly change the way we work, live and play.


Where next?

Computer Science is a subject that is well respected by both employers and top universities and it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for A level students. You can either progress to study Computer Science at degree level or apply the problem-solving skills you have learned in another degree subject such as medicine, architecture or engineering, or through an apprenticeship.


What are the entrance requirements?

Grade 6 in GCSE Computer Science and Grade 6 in GCSE Maths.


Grade 7 in GCSE Maths if GCSE Computer Science not studied.


Who do I need to see for more information?

Mr J Lawani, Head of Computer Science