AS/A2 Computing (level 3)Course ref. QW025
This course is designed to enable you to:
Understand the main principles of solving problems using computers
Understand the range of applications of computers and the effects of their use
Understand the organisation of computer systems
Acquire the skills to develop computer-based solutions to problems
Understand the main principles of systems analysis & design
Use appropriate methods of implementation, testing and documentation
Is it for me?
This course suits those who are looking to enhance their knowledge of computers and enjoy a challenge that involves problem solving. Assessment is 65% theory (exam based) and 35% coursework based.
The theory modules in the AS and A2 years are about acquiring knowledge and understanding of software, system development, data and applications.
They cover software design, programming, hardware communications, data structures and storage types, features and uses of software, social aspects such as security, internet use and misuse and the implications and consequences of computer usage.
In A2 the topics are very similar to AS but are covered in more detail. The practical units require you to produce and write about a software solution to a task. At AS you will learn how to carry out analysis, design, software development, documentation, testing and evaluation of a system leading to a solution to a problem set by the exam board. In the A2 coursework module the same things are done but this time for an appropriate problem chosen by you.
In A2 you study the detailed working of the computer, looking at operating systems, communications, detailed database and file design, software engineering and security.
The practical projects count for 35% of each year. In the AS project, the exam board sets a common project idea for all students and you design, implement, test and evaluate a solution to that problem.
In the A2 project, you are responsible for finding and researching the actual problem. The project involves the analysis of an existing task or problem (whether or not it uses computers already) – once you understand it, you design, implement, test and evaluate and produce appropriate documentation for the project in the same way as AS. You also need to produce a user guide to the project.
A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C, with:
grade B or above preferred in Maths but we may accept grade C on the higher paper
grade C or above preferred in English Language.
Which courses go well with this?
This course combines well with all science subjects but especially Maths and Physics. It also combines well with BTEC Level 3 Certificate in ICT.
This could lead to degree courses such as Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Mechatronics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Games Design and Games Programming. Past students have also gained employment in Computing or ICT related posts or progressed to training in areas such as ICT support.