GCSE Computer Science


General Certificate of Secondary Education in Computer Science

Exam board




Computer science is a very large subject with lots of applications. Computer scientists design new software, solve computing problems and develop different ways to use technology.

Computational thinking involves looking at a problem and working out a way a computer might be able to help you solve it. To do this, you need to understand how a computer processes information.

You probably use computational thinking at school too, but don’t realise it. If you analyse a problem and plan out the solutions, you are using computational thinking.

A programmer, coder or software engineer is someone who designs and makes computer programs. They might use one type of computer language or many. They use computational thinking all the time.

Programmers are logical thinkers and problem-solvers. They look at problems and try to come up with different ways of solving them.

There is often more than one way to solve a problem and coders try to find the most efficient way. This could mean finding the solution to the problem which requires the least number of steps.


3.1 Fundamentals of algorithms

3.2 Programming

3.3 Fundamentals of data representation

3.4 Computer systems

3.5 Fundamentals of computer networks

3.6 Cyber security

3.7 Relational databases and structured query language (SQL)

3.8 Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy

Assessed By

Paper 1 | Computational thinking and programming skills | 50% of GCSE | 90 marks

Paper 2 | Computing concepts | 50% of GCSE | 90 marks

Leads to

This qualification forms part of the entry requirements for progression to further education or employment in a number of different areas related to science, engineering and indeed further study of computer science.

Potential Careers

Appropriate as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for access to further studies and/or training, with a key focus on problem solving, computer systems, programming, data representation, networking, cloud computing and the internet and finally the laws relating to the use of computer systems.



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