AS and A-level Computer Science

 The AQA A-Level Computer Science course (7516, 7517) provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of computer science and how computer programs work in a range of contexts. 


The course is divided into several key areas:


1. **Fundamentals of programming:** This introduces students to the basic concepts of programming, including data structures, algorithms, and object-oriented programming.


2. **Fundamentals of data representation:** Here, students learn about how data is represented and manipulated in computer systems.


3. **Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC):** This module covers the phases of the SDLC, including analysis, design, development, testing, and evaluation.


4. **Theory of Computation:** This section explores the fundamental theory of computation, including finite state machines and Turing machines.


5. **Fundamentals of computer systems:** This unit provides an understanding of hardware, software, and the role of operating systems.


6. **Fundamentals of data structures:** Here, students learn about different types of data structures, such as arrays, stacks, queues, and linked lists.


7. **Fundamentals of algorithms:** This section explores how to design and analyze algorithms to solve problems.


8. **Legal, moral, cultural, and ethical issues:** This module covers the societal and ethical considerations relevant to computer science.


The AQA A-Level Computer Science course also requires students to undertake a programming project. This provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to use the knowledge and skills gained in the course to solve or investigate a practical problem.


Assessment for this course is typically through two written exams:


1. **Paper 1: This paper covers the theory of Computer Systems,** including the fundamentals of programming, data structures, algorithms, and the theory of computation. This is a written exam, typically 2.5 hours long, and makes up 40% of the A-level.


2. **Paper 2: This paper is based on Algorithms and Programming,** including elements of computational thinking. This is a written exam, usually around 2.5 hours, contributing 40% of the A-level.


3. **Non-exam assessment: The Programming Project** is the application of knowledge and skills to solve or investigate a problem. This makes up the remaining 20% of the A-level. Students will be expected to analyze, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language.


Please note, the course structure, assessment methods, and content might have changed after my last update in 2021. Always check the most recent course details from the AQA's official website or your educational institution.