GCSE Computer Science

GCSE Computer Science

If you want to investigate how computers work and how they are used, this course is suitable for you.

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You are most likely to enjoy the subject if you have an interest in science and maths; you are a logical thinker and enjoy problem solving. You will need to commit an extra hour of your time each week to improve your coding skills, and ideally your maths ability will be at least Level 4b.

The course is designed to:

    • Inspire and enthuse you to become more technologically savvy – a future producer of digital products rather than just a consumer.
    • Give you the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of computer science, with an emphasis on programming and problem solving skills.
    • Encourage personal development, motivation and confidence, through practical participation and by giving you responsibility for your own project.

 

How is the course assessed?

This three unit course is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and provides an opportunity to look at what goes on ‘behind the scenes’.

The assessment of the GCSE course is based on written examinations, and a programming task.

Component Unit Title Assessment Method GCSE Weighting
01 Computer Systems Examination 40%
02 Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming Examination 40%
03 Programming Project Non Exam Assessment 20%

 

What will you study?

The new OCR GCSE Computer Science syllabus gives you the opportunity to investigate how computers work, and how they are used. The course will help you learn about critical thinking, analysis and problem solving. We hope you’ll find it a fun and interesting way to develop these skills that can also be transferred to other subjects and applied in day-to-day life.

 

Component 1: Computer Systems

The computer systems unit will teach you the theory about a wide range of issues such as hardware and software, databases, computer communications and networking, system security and more.

You will learn how computers work and how they communicate with each other. You’ll learn about how processors work and its relationship to memory and speed. You’ll begin to understand some of the workings behind the Internet including how an e-mail gets from one place to another.

This unit will be assessed through a written exam and is worth 40% of the GCSE.

 

Component 2: Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming

You will also be learning some of the key techniques behind programming: how to express ideas in sequences of steps, how to approach solving problems and what the main tricks are to get your software code doing what you want. You will learn how to use algorithms to search and sort and how to write robust code.

You will explore how all computer processing is based on binary logic and why computers represent data in binary form. You will appreciate how just a simple stream of 0s and 1s can represent numbers, characters, images and sound.

This unit will be assessed through a written exam and is worth 40% of the GCSE.

 

Component 3: The Programming Project

The programming project will call on your practical skills to design, code and test a solution to a set task. You will use Python as the programming language to create your solution to the problems of the task.

This unit will introduce you to the practical programming used by application, games, and website developers. The effectiveness of the design and the testing of the solution together with the final program will be assessed.

The project is worth 20% of the GCSE.

 

Careers in Computer Science

Computer Science is becoming more and more central to every type of business. A good foundation in Computer Science will enable you to follow one of a wide variety of career paths.

Well qualified and skilled programmers are in great demand as shown in numerous surveys. Further specialised study can lead to employment in the gaming industries. A computing qualification is a good basis for work as an IT technician, IT consultant, computer engineer, software engineer, analyst, data modeller, systems administrator, network administrator, software applications developer and programmer.

The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on the skills you’ll develop, especially where they are applied to technical problems. These areas include design, engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.

 

More information

If you have any further questions, please speak to the teaching team in the Faculty of Computer Science and Emerging Technology.

You can also find more detailed information on the OCR website.

www.ocr.org.uk

 

 

 

 

Computer Science & Emerging Technologies Contact


Richard Heppell
Head of Faculty
Amerjit Kaur
Head of ICT