Whilst studying for the external aspect (examinations) of this qualification students will explore a range of areas within Computing such as the logical and structured ways that computer systems process data to develop programs, processes and systems that solve specific problems. Students will examine the features of effective computer programming and apply accepted computing and programming paradigms whilst analysing, developing and evaluating algorithms and computer code, and propose and apply solutions to ensure that computer systems are fit for purpose. Candidates will develop the computational-thinking skills to effectively analyse a problem, break it down into its component parts, and design and evaluate solutions. Students will progress to explore the relationship between hardware and software as part of a computer system and examine the way computer components work both individually and together to store and process data, and the way in which data is transmitted and used in computer systems.
As part of their internal assessments, students will investigate the many different types of security attack, the vulnerabilities that exist and techniques that can be used to defend the IT systems of organisations. They will learn about the complexities of configuring and supporting networks within an organisation. Students must also explore how encryption can be used to protect data and plan and apply suitable protection to an IT system and test it to ensure the protection is effective. Candidates will learn to configure an IT system’s access control settings to control user access to various IT system resources, including files, folders and printers. As part of their final internal assessment, students will explore different social media websites and analyse the ways in which they can be used and the potential pitfalls when using them for organisational purposes. Students must then develop a plan to use social media strategies within an organisation to achieve its specific business aims and objectives.