Guide to IT Courses

Computer Science (A Level, OCR exam Board) 

Why study Computer Science?
 
Almost every aspect of modern life is affected by computers from running our personal and social lives using the internet, mobile devices and home appliances, to complex programs that help businesses and public services run smoothly.  Vast networked systems of computers control global communication, trade, finance and transportation, and much more besides.  Studying Computer Science will open a window for you to discover how computers work and enable you to design and determine what you do.  You will also become experienced in problem solving by being able to analyse and break down problems to find the most efficient and effective solutions.   
 
What can it lead on to?
 
You can go on to study degree courses in Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence or Computer Games Programming.  Computer Science also offers you the opportunity to explore other pathways: music production; digital art; architecture – computer aided design and modelling; smart fabric design for fashion, healthcare and other industries; communication networks; sports analysis; crime investigation; weather and financial forecasting; 3D printing; virtual reality; audio-visual special effects; and robotics.
 
What are the areas of study?
 
Component 1 (Computer Systems, exam worth 40%) covers the characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices; software and software development; exchanging data; data types, data structures and algorithms; legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.   Component 2 (Algorithms and Programming, exam worth 40%) covers elements of computational thinking; problem solving and programming; algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms.   Component 3 (20%) is a programming project in which you choose a computing problem to work through, from analysis to design, developing the solution and evaluation.