Computer Science

Why study Computer Science?

It is projected that there will be 1,000,000 more computer science jobs than students by 2020; 71% of all STEM career openings will be in computer science related fields, but only 8% of STEM graduates are computer scientists.

“We simply cannot hire enough computer scientists and this seems madness at a time of such high youth unemployment… Companies like Rolls-Royce and GlaxoSmithKline depend on great programmers as much as games developers and visual effects companies do.”
Ian Livingstone, Life president, Eidos

If you like solving problems, e.g. Sudoku and logic puzzles, are good at lateral thinking, and are creative you will enjoy computer science. It is about the logical problem solving, design and implementation of computer systems and software.

Computer science is a swiftly moving field that unites many disciplines, like, mathematics, programming, engineering, philosophy and ethics. It opens an array of career paths and appears individually or jointly in a range of courses, for example Computer Science & Games Technology, Computer Science and Web Technologies and Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence.

GCSE Computer Science is not a prerequisite for A level Computer Science; a good grade at GCSE Maths is necessary though. Students should also be passionate and curious, and keen to build and code outside class too.

A level Mathematics is not essential to take Computer Science but students who also take A level Mathematics will find elements of this course easier to grasp. Students considering taking Computer Science at university should also consider A level Mathematics.

Our previous students have interned and now work with companies like Google, SkyScanner, QinetiQ, and 3M.

Our students have also gained awards for achieving A level grades in the top 50 in the UK. Many have attained places at top universities, or gone straight to industry, e.g. GCHQ or Renishaw.

“Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren’t enough people who are trained and have these skills today.”
Mark Zuckerberg , Founder, Facebook

Computer Science is currently taught at Monmouth School for Boys.

Monmouth School for Boys Head of Department: Ms L Hope


Course content

Board: AQA   A level Syllabus Code: 7517

  • Programming
  • Data structures
  • Algorithms
  • Theory of computation
  • Data representation
  • Computer systems
  • Computer organisation and architecture
  • Consequences of uses of computing
  • Communication and networking
  • Databases
  • Big Data
  • Functional programming
  • Systematic approach to problem solving
  • Non-exam assessment – the computing practical project
Method of assessment

Paper 1 (40% of A level).
2½ hour on-screen exam with short and extended answer questions testing topics from sections 1 to 4 above, and programming and problem solving skills based on a pre-released skeleton program.

Paper 2 (40% of A level).
2½ hour written exam with short and extended answer questions testing topics from sections 5 to 12 above.

Non-exam assessment (20% of A level).
A project systematically exploring a problem and developing a fully programmed solution. This allows students to choose an area of interest, explore it in greater depth, extending their programming skills and deepening their understanding of computer science.