GCSE Option Computing

About the course

Students studying this AQA specification will learn how to create applications that: run on mobile devices, operate in a web-enabled environment. In addition they will: learn how to create simple computer games, gain an understanding of the fundamental concepts around creating software applications, and have opportunities to work collaboratively.

What will I do on the course?

The qualification gives students an understanding of key computing concepts and the fundamentals of programming. It focuses on students creating applications, such as mobile and web apps and computer games.

Students will have to complete:

  • Two controlled assessment tasks
  • A 90-minute examination

Students choose their controlled assessment tasks from two areas of interest to them. There are four areas to choose from:

  • Gaming
  • Mobile
  • Web
  • More traditional PC-based programs

Students will create applications to solve problems based on real life scenarios and will test how well their solution meets the needs of the user.

The exam includes a range of types of questions, from very short to extended answers. The questions are taken from across the subject content.

Entry Requirements

Level 7b at the end of Key stage three in Mathematics.


Component 1-Practical programming 50 hours of controlled assessment, which is internally assessed and externally moderated.  (60% of the overall qualification)

Component 2-computing fundamentals

1.5-hour paper based examination (40% of the overall qualification)

Areas of study include:

Component 1 – Controlled Assessment

Different tasks will be provided by AQA each year. Each student should complete two tasks from a choice of four.

Working independently students demonstrate their ability to code a solution to a given problem. The tasks are set in engaging and relevant contexts, e.g. gaming, web, and mobile phone applications.

  • 50 hours spread over two academic years
  • 60% weighting

Component 2 – Computing fundamentals

  • Different approaches to problem solving – skills directly transferable to Maths and Science
  • How to create programmes to solve problems
  • How computers work
  • How networks, including the Internet do what they need to
  • How computers affect society
  • The importance of data in the modern world
  • Examination 1.5 hours
  • 40% weighting

What can I do after the Course?

This course offers progression to range of Advanced level qualifications, including AS courses such as Computing or ICT.