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A Level in Computing - Overview

Year 12


This unit covers the fundamental knowledge required to support all subsequent units of study. It is intended to provide candidates with a deeper understanding and knowledge of basic concepts covered by a GCSE (Short Course) syllabus in ICT; however, the depth of study is at AS Level and candidates are expected to respond appropriately and fully to question papers. You will study the following areas:

  • Data, Information, knowledge and processing
  • Software and hardware components of an information system
  • Characteristics of standard applications software and application areas
  • Spread sheet concepts
  • Relational database concepts
  • Applications software used for presentation and communication of data
  • The role and impact of ICT


This unit is designed to develop practical aspects of the subject in a way that is not possible when leading to a formal written examination. A structured approach is possible that is suitable for AS GCE candidates. The tasks are intended to be structured in nature, covering practical aspects of ICT that cannot easily be tested in an examination environment.

The following skills are developed:

  • Design;
  • Software development;
  • Testing;
  • Documentation.

Tasks may involve:

  • The design of part of a system;
  • The production of a testing strategy;
  • The use of software for development;
  • The production of documentation to show the user how to use/amend/update the system;

Each year, a selection of the content and learning outcomes listed below will be tested through the use of the structured ICT tasks.

Year 13


This module covers communications between computers and interactions between humans and computers. A range of other information and communications technologies is also covered. The convergence of communications technology and information technology and their impact on society, commerce and industry is an integral part of the module. Candidates are expected to acquire a more in-depth knowledge of the range of application areas covered at AS Level ICT, and demonstrate knowledge of the growing range of applications resulting from advances in ICT. The purpose of this module is to extend the fundamental ICT concepts developed at AS Level. It provides candidates with a more detailed understanding of the nature of both information technology and communications technology and the importance and potential of both for a wide range of applications.

Candidates are expected to explore the need for communication between computer-based information systems, and between human users and computer-based information systems. Candidates are introduced to the design and selection of ICT solutions for a range of problems. Candidates are expected to have knowledge of a range of application areas. Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge of information and communications technologies and their applications and capabilities, both in general and within a context.

You will learn about the following:

  • The systems cycle
  • Designing computer-based information systems
  • Networks and communications
  • Applications of ICT
  • Implementing computer-based information systems
  • Implications of ICT


This project allows candidates to develop their knowledge and understanding of ICT and the skills described in Assessment Objective 2. The project is a substantial piece of work requiring analysis and design over an extended period of time, which is organised, evaluated and presented in a report.

Collaborative working - Candidates choose, in conjunction with a third-party user, a well-defined client-driven problem that enables them to demonstrate their skills to:

  • Analyse a problem;
  • Design a solution to the problem;
  • Develop the software solution;
  • Test the solution against the requirements specification;
  • Document the solutions
  • Evaluate the solution;
  • Work with another person/people to successfully complete the above steps.


You can see all of the A Level specifications for each unit here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-ict-h117-h517/

Course Content »

BTEC Nationals IT 2014 - Overview

The 60-credit BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma extends the specialist work-related focus of the BTEC Level 3 Certificate and covers the key knowledge and practical skills required in the appropriate vocational sector. The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma offers greater flexibility and a choice of emphasis through the optional units. It is broadly equivalent to one GCE A Level.

Units Year 12

  • Unit 1 - Communication and Employability Skills for IT
  • Unit 2 – Computer Systems
  • Unit 30 - Digital Graphics

Units Year 13

  • Unit 4 - Impact of the Use of IT on Business Systems
  • Unit 7 - Organisational Systems Security
  • Unit 8 - e-Commerce

BTEC Nationals IT 2016 - Overview

The 60-credit BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate/ Foundation Diploma covers the key knowledge and practical skills required in the appropriate vocational sector. The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma offers greater flexibility and a choice of emphasis through the optional units. It is broadly equivalent to one GCE A Level.

Units Year 12

  • Unit 3 - Using Social Media in Business
  • Unit 2 – Creating Systems to Manage Information

Units Year 13

  • Unit 1 - Information Technology Systems
  • Unit 6 - Website Development



You can see all of the BTEC specifications for each unit here: http://www.edexcel.com/quals/nationals10/it/Pages/default.aspx

View details »


Useful Links

  • How to make a Gantt Chart using excel
  • Network World
  • Teach - ICT
  • Dreamweaver Tutorials
  • Microsoft Tutorials
  • Ranger Outpost
  • ICT Terminology @ Scan
  • Flash Tutorials
  • Photoshop Tutorials
  • BBC News - Technology
  • Web Technology Resources
  • ICT Business Theories
  • Kemnal Technology College
  • Video Tutorials