KS5 Computer Science

The OCR A-level in Computer Science is tailored to the individual needs of students with an open-source ethos allowing exposure to a range of programming languages. It is a practical subject where students can apply the academic principles learned in the classroom to real world systems.

It is an intensely creative subject that combines invention and excitement and can look at the natural world through a digital prism. OCR’s A Level in Computer Science values computational thinking, helping learners to develop the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence.

Learners will develop an ability to analyse, critically evaluate and make decisions. The project approach is a vital component of ‘post-school’ life and is of relevance to Further Education, Higher Education, and the workplace. Students tailor their project to fit their individual needs, choices, and aspirations. 


Exam 01: Computer Systems
  • The characteristics of contemporary processors, input, output and storage devices. 
  • Software and software development. 
  • Exchanging data. 
  • Data types, data structures and algorithms. 
  • Legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues. 


Exam 02: Algorithms and Programming
  • Elements of computational thinking. 
  • Problem solving and programming. 
  • Algorithms to solve problems and standard algorithms. 


Component 03: NEA Project


Programming Language choices:

• Visual Basic • C family of languages (for example C# C+ etc.) • Java • Python • PHP • Delphi


Context Choice 

Students will liaise with their teacher a well-defined user driven problem. The choice of project must enable learners to: 

  • meet all assessment requirements as contained in the specification. 
  • use an appropriate programming language from above.
  • solve a problem sensibly within the constraints of resources available. 
  • facilitate the successful completion of a whole task from its definition to its acceptance and evaluation by that user. 
  • involve all elements of the skills of analysis, design, development, and evaluation.

Computer systems (01) 40%
140 marks; 2 hours and 30 minutes written paper (no calculators allowed)

Algorithms and programming (02) 40% 
140 marks 2 hours and 30 minutes written paper (no calculators allowed)

Programming project (03) 20%
70 marks non-exam assessment