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Why study Computer Science?

Computers touch nearly every aspect of our everyday lives. The most important aspect of Computer Science is being able to solve problems. This is an incredibly useful transferable skill. This course enables students to understand the core academic principles of Computer Science, developing their technical understanding as well as their analytical and problem solving abilities.

The non-examined assessment (programming project) gives the student an opportunity to build on programming skills that they have developed at KS3 & KS4 to solve a suitable practical problem of their own choosing. Giving them real experience of project managing a programming task.

Course content/Outline:

Paper 1: Programming exam
2 hours 30 minutes
40% of the A level

Paper 2:  Subject content exam
2 hours 30 minutes
40% of the A level

Non-exam assessment/Programming Project
Students will solve or investigate a practical problem using a systematic approach 20% of the A level

What career opportunities are there?

Computer Science is valued by higher education establishments and employers. It will allow you to study Computer Science, Engineering, Physics or related subjects. There is an opportunity for following many STEM careers, where there are many shortages of qualified people. For example, Software System Developers, Business Intelligence Analysts, Computer Programmers, Software Security, Data Analyst, Web Developer, Project Manager, Database Developer, Artificial Intelligence and Network Managers to name a few career options.

Syllabus: Computer Science (H446)

Examination Board: OCR

More information: Ms A Croce 


A level Computer Science

(OCR H446)

Assessment Details

Paper 1 – Computing Principles
Paper 2 – Algorithms and Problem Solving
Programming Project – Programming a solution to a problem using the systems lifecycle

Course Information 

Subject Content                              
Overview of content


  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Exchanging data - compression, encryption, hashing, databases, networks & web technologies
  • Data types, data structures, Boolean Algebra and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.




  • Traditional questions concerning computational thinking:
  • Elements of computational thinking – logical, procedural and concurrently
  • Programming and problem solving
  • Pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition
  • Algorithm design and efficiency
  • Standard algorithms

       SECTION B

  • A scenario/task contained in the paper, which could be an algorithm or a text page-based task, which will involve problem solving.


External moderation

Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. This will enable them to demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Assessment Objectives. Students will need to analyse the problem, design a solution, implement the solution and give a thorough evaluation.

Overview of theory assessment
This unit is assessed through two 2 hours 30 minute examination papers set and marked by OCR:
The total number of marks available for each examination paper is 140.
Paper 1: 40% of the A level
Paper 2: 40% of the A level

Steps to Success A level Computer Science

  1. Take advantage of online teaching websites to improve your programming skills.
  2. Develop your Boolean logic skills, so you can simplify Boolean logic statements.
  3. Practice problem solving puzzles, such as the BBC Radio 4 Puzzles for Today
  4. Understand different system lifecycle methods and select one to organise your coursework.
  5. Comment your code. Explain, explain, explain…
  6. Familiarise yourself with written material available and take notes on the exam topics.
  7. Keep up to date with news items related to the Computer Science and watch Click on the BBC each week.
  8. Read around the topics using text books and revision guides.
  9. Attempt the exam papers in the ‘Past paper’ section. Make sure you know what topic the question is testing you on.
  10. Check you have used technical language in your answers.
  11. Check your answers against the given mark scheme.

Useful Resources:

School Intranet which holds details of every lesson and related resources.

Little Man Computer: