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Higher Computing Science

The Course enables learners to develop an extended range of computing and computational thinking skills, including skills in analysis and problem-solving, design and modelling, developing, implementing, testing and evaluating digital solutions across a range of contemporary contexts.

The Course also enables learners to develop and extend knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes, and the ability to apply this to a variety of problems; and an understanding of the impact of contemporary computing technologies on the environment and society.

In addition to the Course assessment, the Course includes four broad areas of study. Each of these areas are designed to provide progression from the related Unit at National 5 and to related Units at Advanced Higher.

The broad areas are:-

  • Web Design and Development
  • Database Design and Development
  • Software Design and Development
  • Computer Systems


Web Design and Development

Candidates develop knowledge, understanding and advanced practical problem-solving skills in web design and development. They do this through a range of practical and investigative tasks. Candidates apply computational-thinking skills to analyse, design, implement, test, and evaluate practical solutions to web-based problems, using a range of development tools including HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript. Candidates apply interpretation skills to tasks involving some complex features in both familiar and new contexts.

Database Design and Development

Candidates develop knowledge, understanding and advanced practical problem-solving skills in database design and development. They do this through a range of practical tasks, using a minimum of three linked tables and implemented in SQL. Candidates apply computationalthinking skills to analyse, design, implement, test, and evaluate practical solutions, using a range of development tools. Candidates apply interpretation skills to tasks involving some complex features in both familiar and new contexts.

Software Design and Development

Candidates develop knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts and practical problem-solving skills in software design and development. They do this by using appropriate modular software development environments. Candidates develop modular programming and computational-thinking skills by analysing, designing, implementing, testing, and evaluating practical solutions and explaining how these programs work. They use their knowledge of data types and constructs to create efficient programs to solve advanced problems.

Computer Systems

Candidates develop their understanding of how data and instructions are stored in binary form and factors affecting system performance. They gain an awareness of the environmental impact of intelligent systems, as well as the security risks, precautions and laws that can protect computer systems.



Conditions of award
The Course assessment will consist of two Components: a question paper, and an assignment titled ‘Developing a Computing Science Solution’.

Component 1 — question paper
The purpose of the question paper is to assess breadth of knowledge from across the Units, depth of understanding, and application of this knowledge and understanding to answer appropriately challenging questions. The question paper will have 110 marks (69% of the total mark).

Component 2 — assignment
The purpose of the assignment is to assess practical application of knowledge and skills from the broad areas fo study to develop a solution to an appropriately challenging computing science problem. It will assess learners’ skills in analysing a problem, designing a solution to the problem, implementing a solution to the problem, and testing and reporting on that solution. The assignment will have 50 marks (31% of the total mark).