A Level Computer Science

Key Information

Examination Board Cambridge International Examinations
Syllabus Code 9608
Entry Requirements 5 GCSEs at grade A-C (including Maths at grade B)


A qualification for today

This modern qualification is taught by tutors who have worked in the computer industry and gives students a general grounding in computing, including an understanding of computer systems, the principles of programming and problem-solving.

Candidates should not confuse computer science with ICT.  Instead the emphasis is on computational thinking. Computational thinking is a kind of reasoning used by both humans and machines. Thinking computationally is an important life skill.

Course Content

AS Level

Theory Fundamentals

1.1 Information representation

1.2 Communication and Internet technologies

1.3 Hardware

1.4 Processor fundamentals

1.5 System software

1.6 Security, privacy and data integrity

1.8 Database and data modeling


Fundamental Problem-solving and Programming

2.1 Algorithm design and problem-solving

2.2 Data representation

2.3 Programming

2.4 Software development




Advanced Theory

3.1 Data representation

3.2 Communication and Internet technologies

3.3 Hardware

3.4 System software

3.5 Security

3.6 Monitoring and control systems


Further Problem-solving and Programming Skills

4.1 Computational thinking and problem-solving

4.2 Algorithm design methods

4.3 Further programming

4.4 Software development


AS Level

Paper 1 Theory Fundamentals (1hr 30min 50% AS , 25% A-level)

Paper 2 Fundamental Problem-solving and Programming Skills (2 hours 50% AS , 25% A-level)


A Level

Paper 3 Advanced Theory (1hr 30mins 25% A-level)

Paper 4 Further Problem-solving and Programming Skills (2 hours 25% A-level)


Careers and Progression

Students applying to UK universities with an A level in Computer Science receive favourable consideration.


Some potential careers:

  • Software developer
  • Forensic computing
  • Games developer
  • Information systems manager
  • IT consultant
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Network engineer
  • Systems analyst
  • Systems developer


You can study Computer Science and go on to a career in medicine, law, business, politics or any type of science.

Computer scientists are in demand and their salaries reflects this. Recent graduates in professional roles earn high salaries on average.

For more information, contact Mr Scales.