Welcome to Computer Science

Computer Science is a very creative subject and skills such as problem solving and analytical thinking will all be efined and explored as learners’ progress through the learning and assessment programme.

Computer Science 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.

The key features of this specification encourage:

  • emphasis on problem solving using computers.
  • emphasis on computer programming and algorithms.
  • emphasis on the mathematical skills used to express computational laws and processes, e..g Boolean algebra/logic and comparison of the complexity of the algorithms.
  • NEA which will allow students the freedom to create their own student-defined solution.


The Computer Science course is comprised of three assessed units – two external examinations and one non-examined assessment.

  • Paper 1: Computing Principals & Computer Systems
    This unit is an exam-based unit, lasting 2 hours and 30 minutes. This exam is worth 140 marks, which is 40% of the course certification.
    This exam is a mixture of questions, including short, long answers, as well as some extended response questions.
  • Paper 2: Algorithms & Programming
    This unit is an exam-based unit, lasting 2 hours and 30 minutes. This exam is worth 140 marks, which is 40% of the course certification.
    This exam is split into two sections. Section A will contain questions similar to Paper 1, and Section B will contain scenario-based questions, which will largely consist of extended responses.
  • NEA – Programming Project
    This unit is an non-examined assessment, worth 70 marks, which is 20% of the course certification.
    This unit will be completed in Year 13.

Career & Progression Opportunities

The Computer Science A-level will provide learners with a range of transferable skills which will facilitate personal growth and foster cross-curriculum links in areas such as maths, science, design and technology.

The A-level will also provide learners who are looking to develop an advanced understanding of computer science:

  • want to apply their coding ability to solve real-world problems.
  • are looking at a computing oriented-degree.
  • are aiming to work in the computing industry.

Entry Requirements

If you would like to study Computer Science, then you will need at least a Grade 5 or above in GCSE Computer Science (however, consideration to students who hasn’t previously studied GCSE Computer Science at Woodkirk Academy).

You will need to have GCSE Mathematics qualification at Grade 5 or above, in addition to 4 other qualifications.

If you’d like to, you can download this information as a PDF file. Download the Computer Science course information sheet (opens in a new tab) →