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AQA 8525 (9-1)

A Computer Science GCSE is your first step to building the confidence to program tomorrow’s apps, and to tackle the ever-evolving world of information technology. You will study the principles and practices of computing, computational thinking and programming. You will write computer code and develop your skills in problem-solving using computers, and will be offered the opportunity to work on extracurricular games development, as well as build cyber-security skills. You will also have the opportunity to apply your understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and a high-level programming language such as Python. However, it is equally important for you to be able to recognise the ethical issues and potential risks when using computers, and these are addressed in the topics of ethics and security. Understanding the principles of computer science also provides you with the underpinning knowledge required for many other subjects in science and engineering, and the skills learnt can also be used in everyday life.

Course Content

  1. Fundamentals of algorithms 

  2. Programming

  3. Fundamentals of data representation

  4. Computer Systems

  5. Fundamentals of computer networks

  6. Cyber security

  7. Relational databases and structured query language (SQL)

  8. Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy


Paper 1: 2 hours, 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of GCSE

Both papers have a mix of multiple choice, short answer and longer answer questions


There are plenty of opportunities for extracurricular development in Computer Science, from games design (and attending games jams), to competitions like the Oxford Computing Challenge and British Informatics Olympiad, to trips!