Computing Science

Quick links

Computing science is vital to everyday life — socially, technologically and economically; it shapes the world in which we live and its future. Computing is embedded in the world around us, from systems and devices in our homes and places of work, to how we access education, entertainment, transportation and communication. Understanding computational processes and thinking is also vital to many other fields, including science, economics, business and industry. While many learners will want to become computing professionals, all will benefit from the development of these foundational skills and the underpinning knowledge necessary to meet the needs of society today and for the future.

The aims of the department are to enable learners to:
  • introduce and develop aspects of computational thinking across a range of contemporary contexts
  • develop knowledge and understanding of key facts and ideas in computing science
  • apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation and testing to a range of digital solutions
  • communicate computing concepts clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology
  • develop an understanding of the impact of computing science in changing and influencing our environment and society

Related to these aims, and underlying the study of computing science, are a number of unifying themes, including technological progress and trends, the relationship between software, hardware and system performance and information representation and transfer as a core component of any computation. These are used to explore a variety of specialist areas through practical and investigative tasks.

The National 4 Computing Science Course develops knowledge and understanding of key facts and ideas in computing science; enabling learners to apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation and testing to a range of digital solutions. Learners communicate computing concepts clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology, and develop an understanding of the impact of computing science in changing and influencing our environment and society

For further details – https://www.npfs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/nutshells_computing_science_N4.pdf

The National 5 Computing Science Course develops knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes in computing science; enabling learners to apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation and evaluation to a range of digital solutions. Learners communicate computing concepts and explain computational behaviour clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology, and develop an understanding of the role and impact of computing science in changing and influencing our environment and society.

for further details – https://www.npfs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/nutshells_computing_science_N5.pdf

The Higher Computing Science Course introduces learners to an advanced range of computational processes and thinking, and develops a rigorous approach to the design and development process across a variety of contemporary contexts. Learners gain an awareness of the importance that computing professionals play in meeting the needs of society today and for the future, in fields which include science, education, business and industry.

for further details –  https://www.npfs.org.uk/downloads/higher-computer-science/

The Advanced Higher Computing Science Course builds on the knowledge, understanding and practical skills developed by learners in the Higher Computing Science Course. Learners gain advanced programming, development and research skills, and an understanding of the role and impact of contemporary computing technologies.

for further details – https://www.planitplus.net/Nationals/View/103

The National Progression Award in Computer Games Development at SCQF levels, 4, 5 and 6 is intended to prepare you for progression to further study in Computer Games Development, Digital Media Studies, Computing Science and IT subjects. The awards provide a foundation in the knowledge and skills of Computer Games Development that will be necessary if you intend to later specialise in aspects of Computer Games Development, Digital Media Studies, Computing Science and IT subjects.

Course Structure

There are three Units within each NPA:

Computer Games: Design

You will acquire an understanding of the underlying concepts and fundamental principles involved in digital gaming planning and design. You will learn how to recognise and distinguish differences between numerous gaming platforms, environments and genres. You will be introduced to fundamental methods used in the planning and design stages involved in the production of a digital game. You will plan and design a level in a digital game. At SQCF level 5 you will be introduced to the role of the games designer and at SCQF level 6 you will build on your knowledge of hardware in gaming technology and investigate graphics and sound technology used by various types of digital gaming platforms. You will investigate emerging technologies in gaming and analyse how this technology will affect games and peoples’ expectations of games. You will investigate what organisations and activities are involved in the investment, creation, production and distribution of games and evaluate external factors to be considered when designing a digital game. You will evaluate design methods used in the planning and design stages involved in the production of a digital game. You will plan and design a digital game to a given brief.

Computer Games: Media Assets

You will acquire an understanding of the different types of media asset required for developing a digital game. You will learn how to plan and produce media assets for use in a game development environment.

Computer Games: Development

You will gain an understanding of the processes involved in the final stages of development of a digital game. You will learn how to use your chosen game development environment to bring together all the parts and produce a working game. You will gain an understanding of the evaluation process and then go on to plan and deliver a promotional activity. At SCQF level 5 you will devise a test strategy then test the game thoroughly, recording the results. You will gain an understanding of the evaluation process and complete a user review of a game that applies a scoring/rating system. You will finally plan and create a promotional activity. At SCQF level 6 you will identify, plan and perform the main promotional activities undertaken in a computer games product launch.

Assessment

You will be expected to create a portfolio of your work. The portfolio may be paper or electronic (digital). The portfolio should be constructed over the period of the Unit, with you contributing material to the portfolio on an on-going basis.

In order to achieve the award you must successfully complete all three Units at the appropriate SCQF level.

Progression

Each Unit of the National Progression Award in Computer Games Development will be available as part of a suite of Units available for a NC in Digital Media Computing

S1

A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

  • Learners will work on their computational skills through the design and implementation of games.
  • Through the study of malware, viruses, phishing, hacking, firewalls, passwords and networks, young people learn how to protect technological devices so that they can act safely and responsibly when using technology to communicate and collaborate.
  • Young people build web pages using both application software and code. These pages will include aspects of multimedia to communicate information to others.
  • Using graphics software, young people design and create animations

Assessment

Learners are assessed in a number of ways –

  • Self-assessment – learners keep a record of their progress throughout the course
  • Home learning – learners are given a number of exercises and tasks to complete out with the classroom
  • Practical tasks – learners are assessed on their completion of a number of practical tasks that appear throughout the course. Tasks are both individual exercises, paired and group tasks

Progression

At the end of S1, learners can opt to continue with the study of Computing.

In S2, young people build on their progress in S1 through the development of

  • Computational skills using a graphical programming language
  • Knowledge on how numerical, textual and graphical data is represented, compressed and encrypted
  • Skills in web page creation through the use of HTML and CSS to design and create web pages.
  • Skills in designing databases and searching them using the programming language SQL
  • Pupils learn how to protect technological devices so that they can act safely and responsibly when selecting and using different technologies to communicate and collaborate

Learners are assessed in a number of ways –

  • Self-assessment – learners keep a record of their progress throughout the course
  • Home learning – learners are given a number of exercises and tasks to complete out with the classroom
  • Practical tasks – learners are assessed on their completion of a number of practical tasks that appear throughout the course. Tasks are both individual exercises, paired and group tasks.

Progression

At the end of S2, learners can opt to continue with Computing and/or Games Development.

S3 -Computing science is vital to everyday life – on social, technological and economic levels. It shapes the world in which we live and its future. Computing is embedded in the world around us, from systems and devices in our homes to our places of work. It has also changed the way we learn, relax, travel and communicate.

Learning computing science will give you many benefits apart from learning about technology. You will learn valuable transferable work and life skills, such as being able to solve problems in a logical way, think creatively and handle information.

The skills you learn in this course are useful in lots of different job areas. These include science, communications, entertainment, education, business and industry.

Young people opting for this course will study –

  • Text based programming language using VB (N4 content)
  • HTML and CSS
  • Database Design and SQL (SELECT, INSERT, DELETE, UPDATE))
  • Graphics (vector, Bit-mapped)
  • Pupils learn how to protect technological devices so that they can act safely and responsibly when selecting and using different technologies to communicate and collaborate.
  • Pupils build a web page which includes aspects of multimedia to communicate information to others.
  • Pupils work on their own and in groups to design and implement a game and an animation.

Assessment

Learners are assessed in a number of ways –

  • Self-assessment – learners keep a record of their progress throughout the course in a spreadsheet
  • Home learning – learners are given a number of exercises and tasks to complete outwith the classroom
  • Practical tasks – learners are assessed on their completion of a number of practical tasks that appear throughout the course. Tasks are both individual exercises, paired and group tasks.

Progression

At the end of S2, learners can opt to continue with a number of technology subjects including Computing and Games Development.

S3 GAMES

The computer games industry remains strong in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Coding is an important part of this qualification and skills in software development are in demand. Although the primary focus of this award is progression to further studies in this, or a related, field, the knowledge and skills gained by undertaking this qualification may lead to eventual employment in a games or programming position. The award will also improve learners’ computational thinking skills, which is gaining recognition as a vital 21st Century competence, and stimulate interest in computer science among young learners.

Young people studying this course should gain a variety of knowledge and skills including the following-

  • What media assets are available and how to capture them.
  • What makes a good game.
  • The hardware used in the gaming industry
  • How to modify media assets for their game.
  • How to program a computer game using a graphical language.
  • How to design a good game.
  • How to test a game.
  • How technology can be used to promote their game

Learners are assessed in a number of ways –

  • Self-assessment – learners keep a record of their progress throughout the course in a spreadsheet
  • Home learning – learners are given a number of exercises and tasks to complete out with the classroom
  • Practical tasks – learners are assessed on their completion of a number of practical tasks that appear throughout the course. Tasks are both individual exercises, paired and group tasks.

At the end of S3, learners can opt to continue into Computing Science and/or NPA Games Development.