Oxford Academy

Computer Science

Why choose an OCR GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science?


The qualification will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established through the Computer Science elements of the Key Stage 3 programme of study. The content has been designed not only to allow for a solid basis of understanding but to engage learners and get them thinking about real world application.



The specification has been developed to improve upon the strengths of OCR’s legacy Computing GCSE. The specification will enable learners to develop computational thinking skills built on a sound base of conceptual learning and understanding.



OCR’s high-quality assessments are backed up by sound educational principles and a belief that the utility, richness and importance of Computer Science should be made evident and accessible to all learners.

OCR’s GCSE (9–1) Computer Science specification encourages learners to be inspired, and challenged through completing a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. The specification will help learners to gain an insight into related sectors. It will prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.


What are the key features of this specification?

The key features of OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Computer Science for you and your learners are:

  • a simple and intuitive assessment model, consisting of two papers, one focusing on computer systems and one with a focus on programming, computational thinking, and algorithms. Both papers have identical weighting and mark allocations
  • a specification developed by teachers specifically for teachers. The specification lays out the subject content clearly
  • a flexible support package formed after listening to teachers’ needs. The support package will enable teachers to easily understand the requirements of the qualification and how it is assessed
  • a team of OCR Subject Advisors who support teachers directly and manage the qualification nationally
  • the specification has been designed to seamlessly transition into Computer Science at AS Level and/or A Level.

This specification/qualification will enable learners to develop:

  • valuable thinking and programming skills that are extremely attractive in the modern workplace
  • a deep understanding of computational thinking and how to apply it through a chosen programming language.


Content overview


Component 01: Computer systems

Introduces students to the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory and storage, wired and wireless networks, network topologies, system security and system software. It also looks at ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns associated with computer science.


Component 02: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming

Students apply knowledge and understanding gained in component 01. They develop skills and understanding in computational thinking: algorithms, programming techniques, producing robust programs, computational logic, translators and data representation. The skills and knowledge developed within this component will support the learner when completing the Programming Project.


Programming Project

Students use OCR Programming Project tasks to develop their practical ability in the skills developed in components 01 and 02. They will have the opportunity to define success criteria from a given problem, and then create suitable algorithms to achieve the success criteria. Students then code their solutions in a suitable programming language, and check its functionality using a suitable and documented test plan. Finally they will evaluate the success of their solution and reflect on potential developments for the future.


Assessment overview





insert text

Computer systems (01)


1 hour 30 mins


Calculators not allowed

Computational thinking, algorithms and programming (02)*


1 hour 30 mins


Calculators not allowed

* Algorithm questions are not exclusive to component 02 and can be assessed in all components.

Please check the specification for further information