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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:16 pm 
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Location: Cheshire
what is the difference between these subjects at A level?
I know ICT is not well regarded as a facilitating subject by Unis
is CS more regarded than Computing and why the distinction?

My son's school only offers AQA Computing at A levels(started this yr prior to which it was ICT)
and MGS only offer Electronics no Computing of any description at A Level.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:41 pm 
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If this is a potential degree focus then I would encourage maths and further maths A levels.

Computing tends to be a subset of a Computer Science A level - if you look at syllabuses you will see the difference. Very few schools offer these at A level so they are not a requirement of any degree course.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Computer science is better regarded than Computing or Electronics but I would be wary of it as 1 of only 3 A2s.
If it is a potential option then check out likely University courses and look into what they are asking for.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:35 pm 
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Thank you for the replay I did research this question prior to posting and one method was to use Trinity College Cambridge as a Gold Standard yard stick of preferred A levels -see below

The following Table lists the most commonly studied subjects at A-level according to four categories: A1 and A2 contain respectively Science and Arts A-levels about which we have no general concerns regarding suitability; B lists A-levels we consider to be of more limited suitability (the University subject(s) for which we deem each of these A-levels to be useful is/are specified in brackets); and category C consists of A-levels we consider suitable only as a fourth subject.

SCIENCES

All applicants for Computer Science, Medical Sciences and Natural Sciences will normally be expected to offer three subjects from List A1.

In addition;
•Maths A-level is compulsory for those wishing to study Computer Science and Natural Sciences, and Chemistry A-level is compulsory for applicants in Medical Sciences.
•Engineering candidates are expected to offer Maths, Further Maths and Physics; those unable to take Further Maths A-level may take Maths, Physics and either another subject from List A1 or Electronics along with an AS level in Further Maths.
Computer Science applicants should ideally also offer Maths, Further Maths and Physics but Mathematics, Further Maths and Computing or Maths, Physics, Computing and AS Further Maths are acceptable alternatives.•Applicants for Maths are normally expected to offer Maths, Further Maths and Physics, although if necessary another subject from List A1 or A2 may be substituted for Physics; those unable to take Further Maths A-level must offer Maths, Physics, AS Further Maths and another subject from List A1 or A2.•Maths with Physics applicants and those Natural Sciences candidates intending to study Physics ideally require Maths, Physics and Further Maths, but may if necessary take Maths, Physics and another subject from List A1 or A2 as well as AS Further Maths.

A-Levels by Suitability

LIST A1 Generally Suitable Science A-levels
•Biology
•Chemistry
•Mathematics
•Further Mathematics
•Physics

LIST A2 Generally Suitable Arts A-levels
•Art History
•Chinese
•Classical Civilisation
•Economics
•English Literature
•French
•Geography
•German
•Greek
•History
•Irish
•Italian
•Japanese
•Latin
•Music
•Philosophy
•Religious Studies
•Russian
•Spanish
•Welsh

LIST B A-levels of More Limited Suitability
•Archaeology (Arch & Anth)
•Art & Design (Arts)
•Business Studies (Economics)
Computing (Computer Science)
•Creative Writing (English)
•Design & Technology (Architecture)
•Drama/Theatre Studies (Arts)
Electronics (Engineering)
•English Language (Arts)
•Film Studies (Arts)
•Government & Politics (Arts)
•Law (Land Economy & Law)
•Media Studies (Arts)
•Psychology (Arts)
•Sociology (Arts)

LIST C A-levels Suitable Only As Fourth Subjects
•Accounting
•Applied Science
•Citizenship
•Communication Studies
•Critical Thinking
•Dance
•Environmental Science
•General Studies
•Health & Social Care
•Home Economics
•ICT
•Leisure Studies
•Music Technology
•Performance Studies
•Performing Arts
•Perspectives on Science
•Photography
•Physical Education
•Science
•Science for Public Understanding
•Sports Studies
•Travel & Tourism
•World Development

http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/node/621

this is where my confusion begins it uses the term (or implies) Computing A level " for a degree in computer science it does not mention Computer Science A level

are they implying that computing A level is equivalent/synonymous to computer science A level since they do make a distinction between these and A level ICT

or am I just being stupid?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:05 am 
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I would get DC to email them for clarification.

Also be aware that where a Uni states preferred qualifications and one has the opportunity to gain those qualifications it is by far the best to do.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:40 pm 
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I have going some digging I have spoken to the admission tutors at ICL and Manchester.

The essential difference between between CS and Computing is CS has a greater maths content and Computing more programming

If one is doing Computing A Level it may even be better than CS A Level for someone going Maths and FM since there is less repetition most of the Maths in CS is covered in Core Maths but CS does some extended Discrete Maths(what ever that is , maybe G55 could explain it to a dullard as myself)

But essentially with regard to university admission there is no difference.

my son will be doing A level Physics, Maths and FM so he has covered his 3 from list A Computing will be his 4th AS ( his school are continuing with AS exams in 6th form, this was decided even before Cambridge had a tantrum urging school to maintain AS's)

The dilemma we have is choosing between Computing (list B ) and Chemistry A level(list A subject)

advantage of doing Computing is he gets a feel for Computer Science and programming and he can make more informed decision if he really wants to do this to degree level.

advantage of doing Chemistry A Level will be it will open more doors in other fields.

He will be doing Physics, Maths and FM to A2 but may drop either Computing or Chemistry after AS( even do all 4 to A2 if he can cope with the work load)

any ideas what would be best ?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:49 pm 
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The modules D1 and D2 - decision maths - have some content crossover with computer science.

Some schools don't do these modules as part of the A level maths so you'd need to check. D1 covers a number of algorithms e.g. shortest route (think sat navs), linear programming (think maxiising income or minimising costs) and critical path analysis (think building a house and getting things done in the shortest time).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:48 pm 
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Chemistry would certainly keep options open and if he is Cambridge standard doing all 4 to A2 shouldn't be that hard.
Could he think about some self study in C/CS to get a better idea? Or look into short courses over summer vacation?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:42 pm 
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KB wrote:
Chemistry would certainly keep options open and if he is Cambridge standard doing all 4 to A2 shouldn't be that hard.
Could he think about some self study in C/CS to get a better idea? Or look into short courses over summer vacation?


He is not Oxbridge/ICL standard STEP/MAT will be his undoing there, but IMHO he is a good Red Brick candidate but I could be wrong, recent progress in understanding has been remarkable ( his own hard work) so who knows.

He can already program in Python and java and has developed some apps (non of which actually work properly- a work in progress if you like) and knows the in and outs of the raspberry pi , He is determined and adamant computing is what he wants to do. but leaves all donkey work to me :x


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:51 pm 
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Do look at non-RG universities as some of them are better for computer science; it is important to think about a placement too.

What is his untimate aim? Programmer, networks, gaming, systems analysis, robotics ...


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