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National 5 Computing Science

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

The Course also enables learners to develop knowledge and understanding of key computing concepts and processes, and the ability to apply this to a variety of problems; and an awareness of different software development languages and environments and the legal and environmental impact of computing technologies.
Units are statements of standards for assessment and not programmes of learning and teaching. They can be delivered in a number of ways.

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 4, and to the related Unit at Higher.

Software Design and Development

The aim of this Unit is for the learner to develop knowledge, understanding and practical problem-solving skills in software design and development through appropriate software development environments. Learners will develop their programming and computational thinking skills by implementing practical solutions and explaining how these programs work. These tasks will involve some complex features and both familiar and new contexts, which will require some interpretation on the part of the learner. Learners will also develop an understanding of how data and instructions are stored in binary form, basic computer architecture and awareness of different contemporary software development languages/environments.

Information System Design and Development

The aim of this Unit is for the learner to develop knowledge, understanding and practical problem-solving skills related to information system design and development through a range of practical and investigative tasks. Learners will apply computational thinking skills to implement practical solutions using a range of development tools and to develop an understanding of the technical, legal and environmental issues related to one or more information systems. Tasks will involve some complex features and familiar and new contexts, which will require some interpretation on the part of the learner.

Course Assessment

The Course assessment will consist of two Components: a question paper and an assignment.

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).