A Level

A-Level (OCR H446) Computer Science
Specification Download  

 Our A Level Computer Science qualification helps students understand the core academic principles of computer science. Classroom learning is transferred into creating real-world systems through the creation of an independent programming project. Our A Level will develop the student’s technical understanding and their ability to analyse and solve problems using computational thinking. The course is made up of 3 component parts which are outlined below:

Component 01: Computer systems

Students are introduced to the internal workings of the (CPU), data exchange, software development, data types and legal and ethical issues. The resulting knowledge and understanding will underpin their work in component 03.

It covers:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software
  • Data exchange between different systems
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.

Component 02: Algorithms and programming

This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem-solving.

It covers:

  • What is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally)
  • Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems
  • Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems.

Component 03: Programming project

Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding programming project. They will analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The project is designed to be independently chosen by the student and provides them with the flexibility to investigate projects within the diverse field of computer science. We support a wide and diverse range of languages.

Below are the list of individual topics they will look at over the duration of the course.


Year 12

Year 13


Computational Thinking

Systems Software

Programming Techniques





Project / NEA

(Units will support the development of this)


Components of a computer

Network and Web Technologies



Data Structures

Exchanging Data

Computational Thinking ¦ Data Structures


Software Development

Data Types

System Software ¦ Components of a Computer



Programming Techniques



Boolean Algebra

Legal & Cultural Issues



This qualification is suitable for learners intending to pursue any career in which an understanding of technology is needed. The qualification is also suitable for any further study as part of a course of general education. It 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 and design and technology. Computer Science is a very creative subject and skills such as problem solving and analytical thinking will all be refined and explored as learner’s progress through the learning and assessment programme

a level curriculum


Programming Project 

Students are given access to google classroom where they can view resources used in lesson and also ask questions about particular topics should they need to do so out of learning hours.

https://classroom.google.com/u/0/h - they should speak to their computer science teacher for their login details

Computer Science Subject Ambassadors

At Norlington A-Level Students are given the opportunity to become subject ambassadors/mentors to students lower down in the school within the subject area. They are given opportunities to assist either in lessons or during lower school extra-curricular opportunities. Their role is to provide guidance, share knowledge and their own personal experiences of studying computer science at the school

KS5: Recommended text book:

OCR AS and A Level Computer Science, PG Online, PM Heathcote, 2016

Other useful Links:

https://www.python.org/downloads/ - Python version 3.5 (free)


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0HzEBLlJxlrwBAHJ5S9JQg/playlists?shelf_id=10&view=50&sort=dd – A-Level computer Science revision videos for full Specification