Spotlight on A Level Computer Science

09 February 2018

Computer Science is becoming increasingly important in today’s society as technology advances year on year. The world is becoming more dependent on computers and advanced technology and as such Computer Science students are highly valued and sought after in the workplace with the average salary of a Computer Science related job being £52,500.

The A Level Computer Science course at Middlesbrough College Sixth Form is not about learning to use tools or just training in a programming language, instead the emphasis is on computational thinking and problem solving with 50% of the course involving practical programming. The course boasts a 100% pass rate for the last three years with a higher than national average A-C grades!  If you haven’t studied IT or Computer Science at GCSE, don’t worry, you can study it at A Level at Middlesbrough Sixth Form Centre.

Students from the course, Jawwad Hussain, Ciaran Carr, Connor Pearson and George Cook are all hoping to put their A Level to good use and progress to University. Jawwad has been given an unconditional offer to study the subject at Newcastle University, Ciaran is hoping to study at Leeds University, Connor is aiming to study at York St John University and George is intending to study at Durham University.

The students all agreed that programming is their favourite part of the course as it puts what they have learnt in theory into a real life context. All students were also enjoying working on their programming project, George said “The coursework is really fun and enjoyable as it’s up to you what you do, I enjoy the freedom of being able to do something that I am interested in and I enjoy.”

Ethan Grainger is also studying A Level Computer Science and is hoping to secure an apprenticeship to become a software engineer, he said “I’m excited because I enjoy doing it, I do it in my spare time as well as for my course, it’s pretty fun.” He also added “The Computer Science A Level course is my favourite subject at College; it is a very useful subject as it is paving the way for the future. Middlesbrough College Sixth Form is also a nice place to learn and all the staff are very helpful.”

The A Level is a great subject to be studied alongside a variety of different A Levels with current students also studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Media Studies, Business, Biology and Spanish.

The A Level course has predominately male students, with only 8% students over the last few years being female; however all of the female students who have taken the course have achieved well and progressed to University! Jess Codling, studies Maths, Physics and Computer Science A Levels. With a clear aptitude for STEM subjects, Jess says she enjoys learning about Computer Science and Physics as “there’s so much to learn about it and you never ever stop learning about it!” “Programming is my favourite part of the Computer Science A Level course; it’s the fun bit as you get to make stuff.” Her programming project focuses on orbits and planets simulation. Jess is hoping to study Physics after completing her A Levels at Leeds University.

Despite the increasing number of jobs in the technology sector, the vast majority of computer science jobs will be pursued and filled by men. Course leader Joanne Thompson noted “I would love to see more female students taking the course.”

You can apply now to our A Level Computer Science course, click here to find out more details about the modules on the course and to apply.

Course facts:

  • Average salary of a Computer Science related job being £52,500
  • 100% A Level pass rate
  • Higher than national average A-C grades
  • Good A Level combinations include Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Media Studies, Business, Biology and Spanish

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