A Level Computer Science 2024-25

Young woman smiling and sat next to a row of computer screens.
Level icon

A Level Computer Science 2024-25

*In many cases courses are FREE subject to age, household income and/or prior attainment. Please read our Course Fees & Funding page.
Info icon

Course overview

Awarding Body - OCR

An A-Level in Computer Science is useful for all kinds of careers, whether it be a career in computing such as software development, programming, network engineering, web design, cyber security or ethical hacking, or a career in business, science, technology, engineering or mathematics. In fact, the skills you will develop on a computer science course are valued by many employers and can be transferred to lots of careers.

Computer Science is an exciting, creative subject in which you will practically apply academic principles learned in the classroom to solve real-world problems. This course is an excellent choice for you if you enjoy imagining, designing and creating new and innovative solutions that can be shared and that might one day become part new technologies that haven’t yet been dreamed of.

The course covers the following topics, amongst others:
Computer programming, computational thinking and problem solving, pattern recognition, abstraction and decomposition, algorithms, data types and structures, characteristics of computers and software, software design and legal, ethical, cultural and moral issues in computing.

Putting theory into practice is at the heart of this A-Level and much of your work will involve practical, hands-on development of computer programs. You will take the AS exams at the end of year one and the A level exams at the end of year two.

List icon


Computer Systems: Input, output and storage. Software development lifecycle. The Arithmetic and Logic Unit and registers and how they relate to assembly language programming. Procedural languages: assembly language and Little Man Computer. Working with binary numbers. Object-oriented languages, programming constructs, data structures CISC and RISC processors. Multicore and parallel systems. Operating systems, memory management, BIOS, device drivers and virtual machines. Boolean logic and algebra. Networking. Relational databases, SQL. Web design and programming.

Algorithms and Programming: Object-oriented programming. Programming constructs. Global and local variables. Modularity, functions, procedures and parameter passing. Using IDEs to develop and debug programs. Logic and decisions. Problem solving and abstraction. Computational thinking. Algorithm analysis and design. Standard algorithms.

Programming Project – A-Level only
Students select their own user-driven problem of an appropriate size and complexity to solve. The problem must be analysed and a solution designed, implemented and evaluated.

On this course you will be taught through a variety of different methods, theory lessons, independent research and practical programming. You will also be expected to support self-study using the internet, text books and information sheets.

Computer Science AS and A-Level has more maths focus than previous ICT qualifications. The maths is specific to Computer Science and most of it is embedded in the course.

Briefcase icon

Job opportunities after this course

Some students follow an alternative career path, for example: apprenticeships, police force, RAF or a range of jobs in business, software or the computer industry.

Book reading icon

Further study options after this course

After the completion of this course most students study Higher Education at University on computing –related courses.

Door open icon

Entry requirements

For Computer Science you will need Grade 6 or above in GCSE Computer Science and grade 6 or above in GCSE Mathematics.

For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of five 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.

For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of six 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at 9-7 grade.

Our entry requirements are in place to support our students in achieving the qualifications they have chosen to study. In addition to the entry requirements, all students will be regularly assessed by East Durham College at an early stage in their study programme. This is to ensure that students are enrolled onto courses which suit their abilities – following assessment, there may be occasions when students are transferred to a relevant course at a higher or lower level in order to ensure they are enrolled on to the right course for them to achieve and progress.

Entry onto any course at EDC may have entry requirements in addition to exam results; this includes but is not limited to DBS checks, references, fitness to practice and at times physical requirements to be capable of achieving the practical elements of the course without assistance. Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal.


How is this course assessed?

You will be assessed by two formal written examinations - 1 at the end of AS year and 1 at the end of A2.

Calendar icon

When does the course start?

September 2024

Clock icon

Length of course

2 Years, Full Time.

Pound sign icon

Fees & Funding

Please read our Course Fees & Funding page.
Edit icon

How to apply

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply' button at the top/bottom of this page.

Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 743 0149.

If you're not quite ready to apply for this course and would like some more information or to speak to a member of staff then please click on the 'Enquire' button at the top/bottom of this page.

A Level Computer Science 2024-25

*In many cases courses are FREE subject to age, household income and/or prior attainment. Please read our Course Fees & Funding page.