Computer Science (A Level)


What Will I Study?

How Will I be Assessed?

What Next?

Why Study Computer Science (A Level)?

Suggested Reading

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A Level

Examination Board



What Do I Need To Study This Course?

6 or above in GCSE Computer Science and/or 6 or above in GCSE Mathematics and evidence of an interest in programming (if GCSE Computer Science not studied).

Please note – if you are opting to study Computer Science and not opting to study A Level Mathematics then we recommend taking Level 3 Core Maths as your 4th option, rather than an EPQ or directed study.

What Will I Study?

The content of this A Level Computer Science is divided into three components:

  • Computer systems component (01) contains the majority of the content of the specification and is assessed in a written paper recalling knowledge and understanding of:
    • 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
  • Algorithms and programming component (02) relates principally to problem solving skills needed by learners to apply the knowledge and understanding in Component 01.
    • Elements of computational thinking
    • Problem solving and programming
    • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms
  • Programming project component (03) is a practical portfolio based assessment with a task that is chosen by the teacher or learner and is produced in an appropriate programming language of the learner’s or teacher’s choice.

Mathematical skills are embedded throughout the content of the three components. They will be assessed in written papers and through the non-examined assessment where appropriate.

How Will I Be Assessed?

Candidates will sit two exam papers at the end of year 13 and will complete a Project at the end of Year 12/beginning of Year 13;

Paper 1 – Computer systems – 140 marks, 2½ hour written paper – 40% of total A Level.

Paper 2 – Algorithms and programming component – 140 marks, 2½ hour written paper – 40% of total A Level.

Project – 70 marks, non-exam assessment – 20% of total A Level.

What Next?

University, Employment, Level 4 Higher Apprenticeships

Suggested Reading List

OCR AS and A Level Computer Science
Author: PG Online Ltd
ISBN: 978-1-910523-05-6
Publisher: PG Online Ltd
Date: September 2016

Computer Science Distilled
Author: Wladston Ferreira Filho
ISBN: 978-0-9973160-2-5
Publisher: Code Energy
Date: August 2019

Why Study Computer Science (A Level)?