Digital : IT Computer Science

A Level

In Computer Science, you’ll like a challenge and will have a logical approach to solving problems. A large part of this course involves learning how to use a variety of programming languages to write computer programs to solve a series of problems. Towards the end of your first year, you’ll be able to call yourself a Computer Programmer! Computer Science is a technical subject within which you’ll also gain an understanding of the internal structure of a computer, how the CPU actually functions, the role binary plays in storing all of the data on all of the computers in the world and also how the internet manages to function correctly on a day-to-day basis.

Type of study
Examination board

Availability & Details

Computer Science, A-Level AF-COMPAL-D(0000)000

Alton Campus
Academic Year 2020-21 (2 years)
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You should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4.

You will need a logical mind to write your own computer program successfully and for this reason it is recommended that you have at least grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics.

At HSDC Alton on the Computer Science A Level you will:

  • Cover topics such as programming, data structures, algorithms, databases, computer systems and networks
  • Be taught how to create ‘good’ computer programs
  • Develop a systematic approach to solving problems using both procedural, event-driven and functional programming languages such as: C#, Haskell, Java, Pascal, Prolog, Python and Visual Basic
  • Complete a practical programming project based on the requirements of a real end user
  • Analyse and design a range of challenging problems before creating and testing solutions
  • Learn how a computer translates a computer program into a form that the CPU can understand
  • Find out about binary, hexadecimal and how to analyse and simplify Boolean logic
  • Understand what really happens in the ‘heart’ of a CPU
  • Be able to fully appreciate what happens when you click on a link to browse the Internet
  • Gain an understanding of how a computer can create and play music recorded as a series of 1’s and 0’s

Lesson activities will include writing a number of computer programs to solve a range of challenging problems, independently researching how devices and systems function, working on individual programming projects, actively participating in class discussion plus a number of quizzes to test understanding.

80% exams, 20% course work.
Two exam papers; Paper 1 (on-screen exam includes programming), Paper 2 (written exam).

No additional costs. The course textbook is available online.

How to apply

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The teaching has been really good, I’ve loved all of my teachers, they’ve all been really nice and supportive.

Jodie Hook

My experience at the college has been decent, I’ve met lots of people, its been great to be honest, I’ve really enjoyed it.

Oliver Smith, A Level student

My time at the college was definitely life changing, I have learnt a lot of new skills, and obviously it’s a completely new experience. The support was great, there was always people there to help and try make it as easy as they can for you. The college is really fantastic, it has helped me on the way to get to what I want to achieve within my career goals.

Erin Morgan, BTEC student