Computer Science


Why should I choose Computer Science?

The Computer Science course focuses on computational thinking, helping students to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand human and machine intelligence.

They will be able to apply the academic principles they learn in the classroom to real-world systems in an exciting and engaging way. GCSE Computer Science counts towards the English Baccalaureate, offering students an option that achieves maximum recognition. Careers in computing include web design, programming, computer games development and artificial intelligence.

How will I be examined?

GCSE (9–1) Computer Science is assessed through two written examinations.

Component 1: Computer systems

  • Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • 50% of total GCSE 80 marks.
  • This is a non-calculator paper. All questions are mandatory. This paper consists of multiple choice questions, short response questions and extended response questions

Component 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

  • Written paper: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • 50% of total GCSE 80 marks.
  • This paper has two sections: Section A and Section B. Students must answer both sections. All questions are mandatory. In Section B, questions assessing students’ ability to write or refine algorithms must be answered using either the OCR Exam Reference Language or the highlevel programming language they are familiar with

What will I study?

Component 1: Computer systems

  • Systems architecture
  • Memory and storage
  • Computer networks, connections and protocols
  • Network security
  • Systems software
  • Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology

Component 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

  • Algorithms
  • Programming fundamentals
  • Producing robust programs
  • Boolean logic
  • Programming languages and Integrated Development Environments

Recommended text books, additional reading and online resources

  • OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science, Textbook by P. M. Heathcote and S. Robson
  • Revise OCR GCSE (9-1) Computer Science Revision Workbook: For the 9-1 Exams, by David Waller
  • Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, by Charles Petzol