IGCSE Computer Science



Board: Cambridge International Examinations

Course code: 0478

Duration: 2 years

Aims of the course:

The purpose of encouraging our students to pursue Computer Science is to equip them with the ability to understand and change the world through computational thinking.  It develops their ability to think logically and with precision.  It enables them to apply rigour to something that is in fact highly creative – developing software from scratch.  The pupils will learn, and apply, principles to understand real-world systems, and to create purposeful and usable computing artefacts.  In a broader sense is provides a lens through which they can make sense of both natural and artificial systems, and as a subject it dovetails closely with other disciplines such as mathematics, science and design and technology.

Pupils will learn how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the most fundamental elements of data, information and computation.  The pupils will emerge from the course with the ability to apply information technology in order to create products and solutions.  The pupils will also enhance their digital literacy – their ability to use and express themselves through information technology – and this can only enhance their suitability for sought-after A-level, degree courses and their role in a future workplace that will have digital concepts as its fulcrum.

Levels available: Grades ‘A*’ to ‘G’

Topics covered:

  1. Theory of Computer Science:
    • Data Representation
    • Communication and Internet technologies
    • Hardware and Software
    • Security
    • Ethics
  2. Practical problem-solving:
    • Algorithm design and problem-solving
    • Programming
    • Databases


By examination, at the end of a 2 year course

Assessment details:

All candidates take two papers:

Paper 1

1 hour 45 minutes

Short answer and structured questions, based on the Theory of Computer Science unit

Paper 2

1 hour 45 minutes

Short answer and structured questions, based on the Problem-solving and Programming unit

Leads to: AS, A2 and degree level Computer Science.