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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE


A Level Course Outline

What is A Level Computing?

Computing is a subject that encompasses the theoretical aspects of how a computer is designed, used and it's computational power is applied to problem solving, together with practical skills in programming. It provides the student with a detailed understanding of the internal architecture of a computer. It is a suitable foundation for a student wishing to pursue a career as a Programmer, Analyst or Electronic Engineer. The course is aimed at students who see themselves as developing computer software and hardware rather than simply using computers as tools. Students interested in being users of computers would be more suited to an AS level in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Students will learn the fundamental principles of computation, machine architecture, and the programs which make use of that computation and hardware. Students will apply programming techniques within the coursework unit.

What Skills Will Students Develop When Studying Computing?

Computing students will develop the ability to:-

What will students encounter in A Level Computing?

There is a substantial coursework element in Computing which requires students to plan their time effectively throughout the course in order to meet the project deadline. Consequently the Computing course is only suited to students who can work consistently week by week to meet project deadlines.

The theoretical components include more advanced knowledge, understanding and application of data handling, file handling, computer architecture and number representation. A command of more sophisticated terminology is expected.

Computing (OCR) A Level Specification

Component One 1 hour 15 minutes written exam
40% of A2

Available in May / June

Computing Principles

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Software and software development
  • Programming
  • Exchanging data
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, ethical and cultural issues

Component Two 1 hour 15 minutes written exam
40% of A2

Available in May / June

Algorithms and Problem Solving

  • Elements of computational thinking
  • Problem solving and programming
  • Algorithms

Programming Project
20% of A2

Available in May / June

Students will choose a computing problem to work through according to the guidance in the specification. Broadly speaking, the report will cover these broad areas:-

  • Analysis of the problem
  • Design of the solution
  • Developing the solution
  • Evaluation

Structure of the Course

This course will be taught for 6x 1hour lessons per week. Homework will be set weekly and deadlines must be adhered to. Reading of textbooks is essential.

Core textbook
OCR AS and A level Computer Science - PM Heathcote and RSU Heathcote
ISBN: 978-1-910523-05-6

Further Reading
'OCR A level Computer Science Rouse, Pitt, O'Byrne
ISBN: 978-1471839764