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A Level Computer Science

Advances in computing are transforming the way we work and our new Computer Science and Technical IT specifications are changing with the times. A Level Computer Science prepares Askean learners with high level skills students need to progress to higher education or thrive in the workplace. The Cambridge Technicals IT qualification was designed through consultation with employers and higher education providers, as it offers opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to progress in both education and the workplace.

“Every child deserves to take part in creating the technology that will change our world, and change who runs it” - Malala Yousafzai

AQA A LEVEL Computer Science (7517)

 At Haberdashers’ Hatcham College Sixth Form, we aim to develop creative Information Technology, Computer Science and Digital Literate practitioners who are prepared and equipped to meet the challenges of the digital age and influence the future. Our curriculum is designed to stretch, challenge and prepare our students to for a pathway progression into higher education or careers in computing.

Advances in computing are transforming the way we work and our Computer Science curriculum is changing with the times. A Level Computer Science prepares Hatcham learners with high level skills students need to progress to higher education or thrive in the workplace. 

‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that pupils must be taught if they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. 

The A Level Computer Science curriculum requires students to develop their problem-solving skills, exercise their creativity and explore their interests. The rationale behind this curriculum being delivered at Hatcham College is to expose students to an engaging approach to moral, ethical, legal and cultural opportunities as well as opportunities to explore and engage with the changing technology scene: Artificial Intelligence, Cloud services, and Big Data.

Subject Content Summary 

  • Fundamentals of programming – imperative procedural-oriented, OOP, recursive techniques
  • Fundamentals of data structures – arrays, lists, dictionaries, hash tables, queue, graph, tree, stack, vector, fields, records, files (text & binary)
  • Fundamentals of algorithms – traversal, search, sort, optimisation
  • Theory of computation – abstraction, automation, FSM with and without output, language hierarchy, complexity, Turing machines
  • Fundamentals of data representation – number systems/bases, information coding systems, encryption
  • Fundamentals of computer systems – logic gates, Boolean algebra, program translator types, classification of programming languages, system software
  • Fundamentals of computer organisation and architecture – machine code/assembly language, CPU, internal components of computer, external hardware devices (limited range)
  • Consequences of uses of computing – software and their algorithms embed moral & cultural values, issue scale brings potential for great good but also ability to cause great harm, challenges facing legislators
  • Fundamentals of communication and networking – communication methods/basics, network topology, wireless, the Internet, TCP/IP, CRUD applications and REST, JSON, JavaScript
  • Fundamentals of databases – data modelling, relational database, SQL, client server databases
  • Big Data – volume/velocity/variety, fact-based model, distributed processing and functional programming
  • Fundamentals of functional programming –function type, first class object, function application, partial function application, composition of functions, map, filter, reduce, lists
  • Systematic approach to problem solving – skills needed for Paper 1 and NEA
  • Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project


This range of subject content provides an academically challenging curriculum for students of all ability levels. Creating the next generation of computer scientists will ensure that Hatcham learners become leaders in an industry growing in demand every day.

How is this qualification assessed?


A Level Computer Science