What is the course about?


This exciting GCSE gives you an excellent opportunity to investigate how computers work and how they’re used, and to develop computer programming and problem-solving skills. You’ll also do some fascinating in-depth research and practical work. For example, some of the current investigations look at JavaScript, encryption and assembly language programming.


What will I study?


A451 - Computer Systems and Programming

A452 - Practical Investigation

A453 - Programming Project


This qualification provides a basic understanding of computer technology and computing principles and introduces and assesses relevant, transferable skills, including problem solving and information gathering, and provides fair recognition of the technical knowledge and practical skills of students. It provides grounding for further study of computing.


The course consists of one unit which is broken down into three strands:


  • Hardware, Software and Logic
  • Programming
  • Trends in Computing

How will I be assessed?


Assessment is based on a written exam for A451.

The other 2 units (A452 and A453) are coursework based and include a practical investigation and programming tasks set by the exam board and marked by your teacher.

Exam Board - AQA

What skills are required?


You don't need to have studied this subject before.


Studying Computing/ICT may lead to:


If you take a GCSE in Computing and then go on to study the subject at A Level or university, you’ll have an advantage over fellow students who are picking up the subject at these higher levels


The increasing importance of information technologies means there’ll be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this field.


The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on the skills you’ll develop, especially where they’re applied to technical problems. These areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.