Computation is a fundamental part of our world and computational thinking is changing our view of it. This course is designed for students who have a general interest in Computing and Information Science as well as those considering a career in Computing disciplines. You will be required to undertake a substantial amount of planning and background reading.

Preferred Entry Requirements: You would normally be expected to have attained National 5 Computing Science but it may suit S6 pupils who have already sat Highers in other subjects and have not had the opportunity to try Computing Science before and to see if it would be a direction they would like to follow.

Course Structure and Content 3 units

Software Design and Development (Higher)
Explain how programs work, drawing on an understanding of advanced concepts in software development and computer architecture
Develop modular programs using one or more software development environments.
Topics include:
Languages and environments
Low level operations: Storing data
Data types and structures
Development methodologies
Software design notations
Algorithm specification
Computational constructs
Testing and Test documentation
Computer architecture

Information Systems Design and Development (Higher)
Develop information systems using appropriate development tools
Consider the factors involved in the design and implementation of an information system
Topics include:
Structures and links (Databases)
Structures and links (Web-based)
Media types
Purpose, features and functionality
Technical implementations (Hardware)
Technical implementations (Software)
Technical implementations (Storage)
Technical implementations (Networking/connectivity)
Security risks
Security precautions
Legal implications
Environmental implications
Economics and social impact

Course Assignment (Higher)
You apply the skills and knowledge from the other units to solve a Computing Science problem. This means creating a suitable program or application and keeping a record of progress.

Throughout the course you will be developing computational thinking and working with

software development tools LiveCode, Python, Xojo
application development software and tools macro editors, applications that support data handling (MSAccess), presentation, group work, animation, sound, video, graphics and text
virtual machines and emulators digital media devices (scanners, digital cameras etc.)
web development tools script enabled browsers, wire framing software, HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL etc.

Additionally, there is an emphasis on the design, testing and evaluation of computing solutions. SCHOLAR and Glow will be used extensively to deliver the course.

There are internal assessments (practical and written) to achieve each Unit. The Course Assignment will be internally assessed (40%). External assessment (60%) will take the form of a 2-hour written paper. The course will be graded A-D.

Not done Nat 5 Computing Science before?
If you find that the Higher course is too demanding there will be an opportunity to pursue a N5 qualification instead as the Units are designed to be progressive but the idea is to aim high!