Computer Science AS/A Level


Computer Science at Advanced Level, promotes integration of Computer Science.  Learners develop a broad range of skills in:

  • Programming
  • Software engineering
  • Computer architecture
  • Data communications
  • Applications



Computer Science A Level equips students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be accepted on courses such as Computer Science, Software Engineering and Gaming on university degree courses.  It also serves as a good stepping stone to Apprenticeships in Software Development.

Course Content

AS Level

Component 1: Fundamentals of Computer Science 

Investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, data structures, programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.

Component 2: Practical Programming to Solve Problems   

This assessment consists of a series of set tasks  completed on-screen by students. These tasks will assess the practical application of knowledge and understanding and will require the use of either Visual Basic.NET (2010), Python (3)  or Java (Netbeans) as a programming language.


A level

Component 1: Programming and System Development

This component investigates programs, algorithms, logic, programming methodologies and the impact of computer science on society.

Component 2: Computer Architecture, Data, Communication and Applications

This component investigates computer architecture, communication, data representation, data structures, programs, algorithms and software applications.  There are no optional questions.

Component 3: Programmed Solution to a Problem

Students discuss, investigate, design, prototype, refine and implement, test and evaluate a computerised solution to a problem chosen by the student which must be solved using original code (programming). 


Educational Experiences

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

Computer Science AS/A Level students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In the last couple of years, these have included:

  • a trip to Bletchley Park including Colossus, the first programmable digital electronic computer, as well as examples of the Enigma enciphering machine and a reconstruction of the Bombe machine used in code-breaking
  • Oxford taster days in Computer Science
  • Computing Masterclass for students
  • a trip to Croydon Cititech to discuss technology

Students can also benefit from enhancement programmes covering subjects such as 'Apps for good'.



AS Level

Fundamentals of Computer Science: a 2 hour written exam at the end of the first year making up 70% of the final grade

Practical Programming to Solve Problems: a 2 hour 15 minutes on screen exam making up 30% of the final grade.


A Level

Programming & System Development: a 2 hour 45 minutes written exam at the end of the second year, worth 40% of the final grade.

Computer Architecture, Data, Communications and Applications: a 2 hour minutes written exam at the end of the second year, making up 40% of the final grade.

Project based on 'Programme Solutions to a problem':  a project completed by the student, assisted by teachers. Accounts for 20% of the final grade.

Entry Requirements

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirements, either:  

  • Grade 6 in Maths, or
  • Grade 5 in Maths and Grade A in Computer Science, Physics or an additonal Science

Students do not need to have studied GCSE Computer Science to do this course, as long as they are strong in Maths.

This course will suit students who are:

  • interested in Computers, Design, Engineering, Technology and Electronics
  • good at problem-solving and using logic
  • original, creative, organised, and analytical thinkers

This is a problem-solving subject that requires students to think in a clear and logical way. Most students combine this course with either Mathematics or a Science subject. Students not taking either of these, might consider BTEC Level 3 IT as an alternative.

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2017

The application form for the academic year 2017-2018 is available to download here.

Students should return their completed forms directly to Coulsdon College, NOT their schools. All applications will be considered according to the College's Admissions Policy Admissions Policy.

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

Download Course Leaflet

Download the AS/A Level in Computer Science information leaflet.

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