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What would it be like to have a career that is at the heart of next-generation gaming? Could you be at the forefront of developments in Big Data, the analysis of social media data and the ability to respond at record speed to emerging consumer trends?

AQA Computer Science (7517)

Opening doors to extraordinary possibilities

Computer Science is a discipline that offers rewarding and challenging possibilities, not only in more traditional fields (such as data mining and analysis, or the development of business information systems) but in response to the extraordinary evolution of the internet and the demands of societies that are connected 24/7 through technology as never before, through cross-platform software development and the emerging disciplines within Big Data for example. Other exciting opportunities might be found in the Gaming Industry which, over the last 5 years, has diversified to encompass genres of games that far from being violent first-person shooters, can be story-rich, incredibly creative, imaginative and beautifully designed; this is an industry that needs talented programmers and designers who enjoy working in a culture more akin to the digital media industry than to traditional IT organisations.

Building globally recognised skills

Computer Science is for people who enjoy solving puzzles and problems, are creative but also logical thinkers; it is a creative subject that combines invention and critical thinking; key skills for your future career. Computer Science is a practical subject where you can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to life in the extremely diverse Computing Industry. With a foundation and confidence in computer programming, and a knowledge the core concepts of Computer Science, a career awaits that could take you all over the world, and with opportunities to develop a globally recognised skill-set in the process.

Course content

Computer Science comprises of three major components:

  • Computer systems - Computer Systems covers a sizeable proportion of the specification and is assessed in a written paper focusing on applied knowledge and understanding of key concepts in Computer Science.
  • Algorithms and Programming - Algorithms and Programming develops problem-solving skills needed by students to create logical and effective solutions to problems using an industry-recognised programming language. Coupled with the additional learning gained during the Non-exam assessment, students will develop intermediate programming skills, and equally importantly, the confidence to apply and further-develop these skills within a programming profession if they so-desire.
  • Non-exam assessment: Programming project 

    Students choose a computing problem that will challenge them to build their programming experience even further. Students also need to document their work in accordance with specification, and which follows a typical industry design and development process:

  • Analysis of the problem
  • Design of the solution
  • Developing the solution
  • Evaluation of the solution


  • Paper 1: a written exam 2½ hours:  worth 40%
  • Paper 2: a written exam 2½ hours:  worth 40%
  • A Programming project: worth 20%