There are three strands to the course, Systems, Algorithms and the Project.
Component 01: Computer Systems
Students are introduced to the internal workings of the (CPU), data exchange, software development, data types and legal and ethical issues:
- The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
- Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software
- Data exchange between different systems, data types, data structures and algorithms
- Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.
Component 02: Algorithms and Programming
This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem-solving. It covers:
- Thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally.
- How computers and programs can be used to solve problems.
- Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems.
Component 03: Programming Project
Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project. They will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in Python, or one of four other languages. Many students create games, others create practical applications for healthcare, education or the arts.
The OCR A Level in Computer Science will encourage learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by following a broad, coherent, practical, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It will provide insight into, and experience of how computer science works, stimulating learners’ curiosity and encouraging them to engage with computer science in their everyday lives and to make informed choices about further study or career choices.
A GCSE in ICT or Computer Science would be helpful but not essential. Strong mathematical ability evidenced by a good GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics is essential.