Computer Science - Options 2024

AQA GCSE Computer Science (8525)

Course contact: Mrs C Harvey                   harvey.c@whiteroseacademies.org

Course Description: Computer Science involves both practical skills and theoretical knowledge.

In the practical side of GCSE Computer Science, you will learn how to solve problems by writing programs or coding. No prior knowledge of programming is needed, and you will learn to program in a programming language called Python. Students who enjoy solving puzzles and are logical thinkers will enjoy GCSE Computer Science.

You will also learn how a computer works, looking at how everything in the world is represented as binary patterns inside the computer (data representation). GCSE Computer Science includes a lot of modern topics such as cybersecurity, including malware and hacking. We also study the impact of digital technology on the whole of society, discussing the ethics of driverless cars and wearable technology.

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What will I learn?

You will learn to:

  • analyse problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • understand how computers work and how they communicate with one another
  • understand the impacts of digital technology to modern society

How will I be assessed?  2 written exams at the end of Year 11 (no coursework):

Paper 1

Computational thinking and programming skills 50%

Exam = 2 hr

Paper 2

Computing concepts

50% Exam = 1 hr 45 mins

PRACTICAL

  • Computational thinking (logic)
  • Code tracing
  • Problem-solving
  • Programming concepts
  • Designing effective algorithms
  • Designing, writing and testing programs

THEORY

    • Data representation (binary)
    • Computer systems (hardware)
    • Networks (including the Internet)
    • Cybersecurity
    • Databases and SQL programming
    • Ethical, legal and environmental impact of digital technology

Both exam papers have a mix of multiple choice, short answer, and a couple of longer answer questions.

 

Further Study:

A level Computer Science

T level Digital

BTEC Software, Cybersecurity and Network Engineering

BTEC 3D modelling, Web & Social Media Development

Apprenticeships:

Infrastructure Technician

Digital Marketing

Cyber Intrusion Analyst

 

Careers:

Software/Network Engineer

Cybersecurity Analyst

Ethical Hacker

Network technician

Data Scientist/Analyst

Game/App/Web developer

 

Further Information

There is a digital skills gap in the UK and employers need more people with programming and problem-solving skills. GCSE Computer Science is an EBacc subject.