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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 two mandatory Units. Each of these Units is designed to provide progression from the related Unit at National 5 and to related Units at Advanced Higher.

Software Design and Development
The general aim of this Unit is to develop knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts and practical problem-solving skills in software design and development through appropriate software development environments. Learners will develop programming and computational thinking skills by designing, implementing, testing and evaluating practical solutions and explaining how these programs work. They will also develop an understanding of computer architecture and the concepts that underpin how programs work. Through investigative work, learners will gain an awareness of the impact of contemporary computing technologies.

Information System Design and Development
The general aim of this Unit is to develop knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts and practical problem-solving skills in information system design and development through a range of practical and investigative tasks. Learners will apply their computational thinking skills to implement practical solutions using a range of development tools and to develop an understanding the technical, legal, environmental, economic and social issues related to one or more information systems.

Conditions of award
To gain the award of the Course, the learner must pass all of the Units as well as the Course assessment.

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 90 marks (60% of the total mark).

Component 2 — assignment
The purpose of the assignment is to assess practical application of knowledge and skills from the Units 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 60 marks (40% of the total mark).