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Computer Science

Why Computer Science?  

Computers are widely used in all aspects of business, industry, government, education, leisure and the home. In this increasingly technological age, a study of computer science, and particularly how computers are used in the solution of a variety of problems, is not only valuable to the learners but also essential to the future well-being of the country. If you feel that you could contribute to this future then this course will be a good starting point for you.

Summary of content

Computer science integrates well with subjects across the curriculum. It demands both logical discipline and imaginative creativity in the selection and design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs; it relies on an understanding of the rules of language at a fundamental level; it encourages an awareness of the management and organisation of computer systems; it extends the learners’ horizons beyond the school or college environment in the appreciation of the effects of computer science on society and individuals. For these reasons, computer science is as relevant to a learner studying arts subjects as it is to one studying science subjects.

The WJEC AS and A Level in Computer Science has been designed to give an in-depth understanding of the fundamental concepts of computer science and a broad scope of study opportunities. This specification has been designed to free centres to concentrate on innovative delivery of the course by having a streamlined, uncomplicated, future-proof structure, with realistic technological requirements.

Units

AS - Unit 1 - Fundamentals of Computer Science

Written examination: 2 hours

25% of qualification (62.5% of AS qualification)

The following topics are covered:

  • Hardware and communication
  • Organisation of data
  • Systems analysis
  • Logical operations
  • Database systems
  • Software engineering
  • Data transmission
  • The operating system
  • Program construction
  • Data representation and data types
  • Algorithms and programs
  • The need for different types of software systems and their attributes
  • Data structures
  • Principles of programming
  • Practical programming
  • Data security and integrity processes
  • Economic, moral, legal, ethical and cultural issues relating to computer science

AS - Unit 2 - Practical Programming to Solve Problems

On-screen examination: 2 hours

15% of qualification (37.5% of AS qualification)

The following topics are covered:

  • Hardware and communication
  • Organisation of data
  • Systems analysis
  • Logical operations
  • Database systems
  • Software engineering
  • Data transmission
  • The operating system
  • Program construction
  • Data representation and data types
  • Algorithms and programs
  • The need for different types of software systems and their attributes
  • Data structures
  • Principles of programming
  • Practical programming
  • Data security and integrity processes
  • Economic, moral, legal, ethical and cultural issues relating to computer science

A2 - Unit 3 - Programming and System Development

Written examination: 2 hours

20% of qualification

Topics include:

  • Data structures
  • Logical operations
  • Algorithms and programs
  • Principles of programming
  • Systems analysis
  • System design
  • Software engineering
  • Program construction
  • Economic, moral, legal, ethical and cultural issues relating to Computer Science

A2 - Unit 4 - Computer Architecture, Data, Communication and Applications

Written examination: 2 hours

20% of qualification

Topics include:

  • Hardware and communication
  • Data transmission
  • Data representation and data types
  • Organisation and structure of data
  • Databases and distributed systems
  • The operating system
  • The need for different types of software systems and their attributes
  • Data security and integrity processes

A2 - Unit 5 - Programmed Solution to a Problem

Non-exam assessment

20% of qualification

This unit requires the learners to investigate, design, prototype, implement, test and evaluate a computer solution to a substantial problem of their own choice.

The process will cover the following elements:

  • Discussion
  • Investigation
  • Design
  • Prototype
  • Post-prototype refinement of design
  • Software development
  • Testing and evaluation

Course providers