Course Title AS/A Level Computer Science
Level: 3
Code MS015

Overview of the Course

The Computer Science course has recently been refreshed to move with the times and adapt to the advances in computing which are constantly transforming the way we work. Computer Science embraces the logical, imaginative and creative skills needed to create the technologies of tomorrow. The course has a strong emphasis on problem solving and practical programming using the C# programming language. This is complemented by a study of computational theory giving you the skills to progress to higher education or thrive in the workplace.

What are the career opportunities?

You may progress onto Computer Science, Engineering or IT related Higher Education courses or employment where knowledge of programming or Computer Science is required.

What are the entry requirements?

To study A Levels at Bury College you must obtain a minimum of six GCSE grades. These must include 4/5 in English Language and mathematics (minimum combined total of 9 points). Plus, a minimum of two additional GCSEs at grade 4 or higher. As well as a minimum of two additional GCSEs at grade 5 or higher.

In addition to these entry requirements, you must have a GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C) in English and grade 9-6 (A*-B) in maths. You must also study Level 3 Mathematical Studies or AS Mathematics alongside this course.

How long is the course and when can I start?

The A Level Study Programme is a full-time two-year programme, starting in September, with the opportunity to take AS after one year.

How is the course structured and how will I be assessed?

In the first (AS) year you will study two equally weighted units, one assessed by a written examination and the other by an on-screen practical examination.

In the second year (A Level) you will study two units (both 40% of final grade) one assessed by a written examination and the other by an on-screen practical examination. In addition, you will complete an individual practical project (20%).

What employability skills will I develop on this course?

Computer Science is part of everything we do!

Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything that touches our lives from the cars we drive, to the films we watch, to the ways businesses and governments deal with us. Whether you want to be a scientist, develop the latest application, or just know what it really means when someone says “the computer made a mistake”, studying computing will provide you with this valuable knowledge.

Computer Science drives innovation in the sciences (human genome project, AIDS vaccine research, environmental monitoring and protection just to mention a few), and also in engineering, business, entertainment and education. If you want to make a positive difference in the world, study computing.

Expertise in computing helps you even if your career choice is something else.
Having studied Computer Science will provide you with a foundation of knowledge, problem solving and logical thinking that will serve as a competitive advantage to you in your career, in whatever field you choose.


Work experience

Work experience is an essential element of your study programme and you will be supported to secure a five day work experience placement. This will allow you to gain first hand exposure to the sector you wish to work in, start to develop key employability skills and most importantly confirm your career goals.

Study programme enrichment opportunities

Your Study Programme will support personal development to ensure you make good progress and acquire the skills required for successful progression to employment, an apprenticeship or higher education. Enrichment includes guest speakers and trips/visits.

You will have the opportunity to take part in competitions such as the BEBRAS Challenge and other Individual and Team Challenges.  For students that are more able, there is also the opportunity to take part in the TCS Oxford Computing Challenge.

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

There are computers available to all students throughout the LRCs at Bury College, but a home PC capable of running Microsoft Visual Studio 2107 (Community Edition) will be a great aid to your studies, especially in the second year.

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