Computer Science

Computer Science

QMC offers a wide range of courses within the field of Digital Technology; Electronics, Computer Science & Information Technology.

About Computer Science and IT

Society has been transformed by revolutions in Computer Science & IT over the past 50 years and digital skills are now essential for many careers in the 21st century. Whether your interests lie in artificial intelligence, cyber security or games development, our range of courses will give you the opportunity to develop your digital abilities using the latest software, in dedicated labs, using state-of-the-art equipment. The skills you learn will help you make a successful transition directly into employment, onto a higher-level apprenticeship, or allow you to apply to the most selecting of universities. Whatever your ambition, improving your digital skills will help you get there.

Computer Science

Course Summary

Our 21st century world is a dynamic and ever-changing place where we can now stream high definition movies to our smartphones, video chat with friends and relatives on the other side of the planet and store huge amounts of music in the cloud! We can design cars using a laptop, use voice control to browse the internet, even do our banking online at home in our pyjamas. All of these advances are made possible because of the work of computer scientists. Computers make our world possible and Computer Science is the course that will help you develop the fundamental skills and understanding required to make sense of our digital age. By writing your own programs and apps you will develop your problem-solving skills and your logical, mathematical thinking to perhaps imagine the technology that is yet to come!

Specific Entry Requirements

To ensure you have the best possible chance of success in Computer Science, you are required to have obtained at least grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics, at least grade 5 in GCSE English, and if taken, at least grade 5 in GCSE Computer Science. You do not need to have any experience of programming before you start, however confidence coding in Python would give you a significant advantage when starting the course.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

The most important skill you will develop on the course is the ability to solve problems. Using mathematics and a computing language called Python you will discover how it is possible to write algorithms and computer code to create software that can perform calculations, store data and much more. Computer Science will help you develop strong logical, numerical, problem solving skills that will make you an attractive prospect for many different employers from a variety of different industries. The course could lead to a career in the Computing and IT Industry, but it could just as easily take you on a journey into Medicine, Law, Business, Politics, Engineering or any type of Science.

How is the course assessed?

The linear A Level Computer Science course will be assessed by your performance in two exams at the end of the second year. These exams are synoptic and between them, will cover all the elements from the entire two years of study. The first paper is an on-screen exam that will challenge your programming skills, whilst the second is paper-based. Each is 2 hours 30 minutes long and will contribute 40% to your final A level grade. The final 20% comes from you performance in an individual coursework project. This will require you to use your knowledge and skills developed during the course to research, design, program and test a piece of software that solves a practical problem of your own choosing.

What topics will I be studying?

In A level Computer Science you will discover the fundamental ideas behind computing. You will discover what really goes on inside a Computer, how data is transmitted between computers communicating over the Internet, how numbers, text, images, and sound can be stored and shared as a series of binary ones and zeros. You will learn about the logic gates inside the circuitry of a computer, how using an area of Maths called Boolean Algebra allows us to design new devices and you will study how hardware and software work together to make it all possible. The full list of topics is below:

  • Fundamentals of programming
  • Fundamentals of data structures
  • Fundamentals of algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • Fundamentals of data representation
  • Fundamentals of computer systems
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking
  • Fundamentals of databases
  • Big Data
  • Fundamentals of functional programming

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

You will need a number of course booklets, revision guides, computing equipment and software but everything you require will be provided, you contribute towards these as part of your course costs. Your teacher may recommend other books for study and revision but it is up to you whether you buy these or access them in the College Library.

With the pace of discovery and development ever increasing, the range of career opportunities for people with the skills that Science A levels provide are unimaginably diverse and you will always be in demand. Studying Science in our state of the art labs and project spaces will enable you to develop the necessary technical ability and knowledge to play your part. Whatever your talent, at QMC you will find customised support to meet your aspirations and successfully pursue your particular interests and goals.

Any Questions?

Our Head of Department, Nick Everett will be happy to help.

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