Computer science

Qualification type: GCSE
Exam board: OCR
Course code: J277
Contact: Mrs Elliott – kelliott@retfordoaks-ac.org.uk

The digital age needs computer scientists. Computer programs have all but infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Computer science is about theorising, designing and developing software for the programs we use day in, day out.

What will be studied?

Computer systems – written exam

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming – written exam

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component one. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking – algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic and translators.

Practical programming

Students are given the opportunity to undertake a programming task(s) during their course of study, which allows them to develop their skills in designing, writing, testing and refining programs using a high-level programming language. Students will be assessed on these
skills during the written examinations.

Why study computer science?

Computer science will give you an understanding of how to program computers using the Python programming language, as well as equipping you with the knowledge of how computer technology works. You will also learn first-class problem-solving skills and troubleshooting skills. If you have a keen interest in how computers work, then computer science could be the ideal course for you.

Assessment structure

Two exams worth 50% each.

Career opportunities

Computer science students have excellent graduate prospects. The average salary for someone working in the computer science sector is £47,500. There is a plethora of opportunities available including:
• Web developer
• Games designer
• Software engineer
• Network analyst