OCR Level 3 Advanced GCE in Computer Science

Computer Science is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real-world systems. It’s an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement, and can look at the natural world through a digital prism.

The aims of this qualification are to enable learners to develop:

  • An understanding and ability to apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including: abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • The ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
  • The capacity to think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • The capacity to see relationships between different aspects of Computer Science

The course is made up of three components:

Component 01: Computer systems (40% of the marks)

This covers:

  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices
  • Types of software and the different methodologies used to develop software
  • Data exchange between different systems
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues.

Component 02: Algorithms and programming (40% of the marks)

This builds on component 01 to include computational thinking and problem-solving and covers:

  • What is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally etc.)
  • Problem solving and programming – how computers and programs can be used to solve problems
  • Algorithms and how they can be used to describe and solve problems.

Component 03: Programming project (20% of the marks)

This component gives the students the opportunity to independently choose a problem to solve and go through the full development process to create a solution in a suitable programming language.  Students are expected to apply the principles of computational thinking and analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document the resulting program.

Potential destinations after A Level Computer Science:

Degrees – for example:

  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Systems Engineering
  • Computer Games Design
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Science
  • Computer Forensics
  • Cyber Security


Other Possible Training Options:

  • Internship (e.g. with IBM)
  • Apprenticeship (e.g. with Capgemini)


  • Junior developer
  • IT support
  • Setting up your own business (e.g. app development)