GCSE Computing

Unit A451

(Computer systems and programming)

  • Written paper
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 40% of the qualification
  • Candidates answer all questions.

Question paper that includes a mixture of short and long answer questions, some of which will require candidates to write program code.

Unit A452

(Practical investigation)

  • Controlled assessment
  • An investigative task
  • Approximately 20 hours
  • 45 marks
  • 30% of the qualification

Candidates carry out a practical investigation of a topic chosen from a set of options supplied by OCR.

Unit A453

(Programming project)

  • Controlled assessment
  • Approximately 20 hours
  • 45 marks
  • 30% of the qualification

Candidates create solutions to computing tasks from a set of options supplied by OCR.

Guided learning hours

GCSE Computing requires 120–140 guided learning hours in total.

Aims and learning outcomes

GCSE specifications in Computing should encourage candidates to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. They should help candidates to gain an insight into related sectors. They should prepare candidates to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

GCSE specifications in Computing must enable candidates to:

  • develop their understanding of current and emerging technologies, understanding of how they work and apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts
  • acquire and apply a knowledge, some technical skills and an understanding of the use of algorithms in computer programs to solve problems using programming
  • use their knowledge and understanding of computer technology to become independent and discerning users of IT, able to make informed decisions about the use and be aware of the implications of different technologies
  • acquire and apply creative and technical skills, knowledge and understanding of IT in a range of contexts
  • develop computer programs to solve problems
  • develop the skills to work collaboratively
  • evaluate the effectiveness of computer programs/solutions and the impact of, and issues related to, the use of computer technology in society.