GCSE Computer Science

Computer Science prepares young people for a world that doesn’t yet exist, involving technologies that have not yet been invented, and that present technical and ethical challenges of which we are not yet aware.

Why study Computer Science?

We live in a digitised, computerised, programmable world, and to make sense of it, we need Computer Science.

The job prospects are excellent, and the field is rigorous, intellectually vibrant, and multifaceted. Computing students learn logical reasoning, algorithmic thinking, design and structured problem solving – all concepts and skills that are valuable well beyond the computing classroom.

Course Content

  1. Fundamentals of algorithms
  2. Programming
  3. Fundamentals of data representation
  4. Computer systems
  5. Fundamentals of computer networks
  6. Cyber security
  7. Relational databases and structured query language (SQL)
  8. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy

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Skills developed

  • Real-world Python programming skills.
  • An understanding of the fundamental principles of computing including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation.
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs.
  • The ability to think creatively, analytically, logically and critically.
  • An understanding of the impacts of digital technology to the individual and society.
  • An awareness of cyber security threats and methods of prevention.

Will the course suit me?

Students who do well at GCSE Computer Science are able to use logical thinking skills to help solve a variety of problems. Programming is a key aspect of the course and will challenge the students’ resilience and ability to persevere. Students will be familiar with Python programming from key stage 3 and the GCSE will build on these skills. Students are encouraged to program outside of lessons, as well as keeping up-to-date with the latest technology news.


How will it be assessed?

Paper 1: Computational thinking and programming skills

Written exam: 2 hours (90 marks, 50% of GCSE)

Computational thinking, code tracing, problem-solving, programming concepts including the design of effective algorithms and the designing, writing, testing and refining of code.

The content for this assessment will be drawn from subject content 1 and 2 above.

Questions: A mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions assessing programming, practical problem-solving and computational thinking skills.

Paper 2: Computing concepts

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (90 marks , 50% of GCSE)

The content for this assessment will be drawn from subject content 3 to 8 above.

Questions: A mix of multiple choice, short answer, longer answer and extended response questions assessing SQL programming skills and theoretical knowledge.

Further information:

Future opportunities

The course provides an excellent platform for those continuing with A Level Computer Science, or wanting to pursue a technology related degree at University.

Computer Science can lead to a wide variety of careers including: Data Scientist, Cyber Security specialist, Web developer, Programmer, App Developer, Artificial Intelligence specialist, Games designer and developer, Network engineer, Technician, Systems Analyst.

For further information on the Computer Science Specification: Click here