GCSE Computing

OCR                                                                                                                                                                                                      OPTION SUBJECT


Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything that touches our lives, from the cars we drive, to the movies we watch, to the different ways in which businesses and governments deal with us.

Understanding different dimensions of computing is part of the necessary skill set for an educated person in the 21st century. Whether you want to be a scientist, develop the latest killer application, or just know what it really means when someone says, “the computer made a mistake”, studying Computing will provide you with valuable knowledge.

This three unit course is designed to give students an in-depth understanding of how computer technology works and a look at what goes on ‘behind the scenes’. You don’t need to have studied this subject before, and assessment is based on two written exams and programming tasks.


01 Computer Systems

This component will introduce learners to the Central Processing Unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software.

These topics include:

  • Systems Architecture
  • Hardware
  • Networks and the Internet
  • System Software
  • System Security

02 Computational Thinking and Programming

This component incorporates and builds on the knowledge and understanding gained in Component

01, encouraging learners to apply this knowledge and understanding using computational thinking. Learners will be introduced to algorithms and programming, learning about programming techniques, how to produce robust programs, computational logic, translators and facilities of computing languages and data representation. Learners will become familiar with computing related mathematics.

03 Programming Project

Students will be presented with a range of assessment tasks each consisting of three sub tasks. The set tasks within the Controlled Assessment will provide opportunities for the candidates to demonstrate practical ability to use their programming skills. Students will need to create suitable algorithms which will provide the solution to a stated problem. They will then code their solutions in a suitable programming language.


If you take a GCSE in Computing, and then go on to study the subject at A level or degree level, you’ll have an advantage over fellow students who are selecting the subject at these higher levels. The increasing
importance of information technologies means there’ll be a growing demand for professionals who are qualified in this field.     

The course is also an excellent preparation if you want to study or work in areas that rely on the technical skills you will develop, in areas include engineering, financial and resource management, science and medicine.