A-level ICT

Background information about studying ICT

In the first year you’ll study two ‘big picture’ themes. First there’s ‘Practical problem solving’, which introduces you to the various hardware and software technologies used in ICT, and how you can apply them to different applications in real life. The second theme is ‘Living in the digital world’, which gives you a solid grounding in ICT areas like transferring data, backups and the interface between people and ICT systems. In the second year you’ll build on that strong foundation with another two study themes. In the first theme, ‘The use of ICT in the digital world’, you’ll cover technology developments, how to manage ICT projects, and the use of ICT solutions within organisations. In the second theme, ‘Practical issues’, you’ll get hands-on experience by conceiving, designing and implementing a real ICT-related system.

How will it differ from GCSE?


Easy. (But resources are scarce)


Fairly relaxed. Coursework is the only real burden - but that has a very long deadline.

Required Individual Study

Not much. Coursework requires a real client; you will have to find somebody with a real need for an ICT solution - often done outside of lesson time. You will have to interview this person, visit the organisation, perform document analysis and various other analytic tasks.😡😡😡vb

How is it assessed?


The new AQA Spec is as follows:


50% INFO1 exam (For this exam - you take in a piece of coursework you prepared in class)

50% INFO2 exam


60% INFO3 exam (Preliminary Material provided)

40% INFO4 coursework (Thats 40% internally marked - externally moderated coursework)

The total qualification is marked out of 400 UMS. (200 AS, 200 A2)

INFO1 and INFO2 are both 90 minute exams, INFO3 is a 120 minute exam.



IT1 - Exam - To succeed on this exam board you MUST follow the mark scheme, stay away from ALOT of resources and stick to memorising the mark schemes to exam papers as many of the answers lie there. (Worth 60%)

IT2 - Coursework - Very long piece of coursework overall, about 70 pages. Very easy to follow and can be all done in class time. (Worth 40%)


IT3 - Exam - Similar to the IT1 exam however contains more "advanced" concepts and stricter mark schemes. (Worth 60%)

IT4 - A database project, very long winded. For an A/A* you're looking at 150 pages + (Worth 40%)


In AS there is one 2 hour exam G061 - Information, systems and applications. This is worth 60 % of AS, the remaining 40% (of AS) is coursework called 'Structured Tasks'

In A2 there is one 2 hour exam G063 - ICT System, Applications and implications. This is worth 60 % of A2,the remaining 40% (of A2) is coursework called 'ICT Project'

The total qualification is marked out of 400 UMS. (200 AS, 200 A2)


The coursework unit (INFO4) provides students with the opportunity to complete a substantial project involving the production of an ICT-related system over an extended period of time. In so doing, students will enhance their transferable practical skills. The unit is designed to be taught alongside or after Unit 3 and topics covered in Unit 3 may provide the stimulus for work for this Unit 4, but the centre or student can explore new areas of ICT if they wish.

The skills set down in the QCA Subject Criteria for GCE ICT are those necessary to undertake an ICT related project: thus, as part of this unit, students will have the opportunity to enhance their transferable skills in:

• investigation

• analysis

• definition of requirements

• design of effective solutions to meet a requirements specification, including the methods to be used for testing and installation

• selection and use of appropriate technologies

• implementation

• testing

• documentation

• evaluation of solutions and their own performance.

The coursework accounts for 40% of the A2 Grade


Field trips and excursions


Where can I go with an ICT A-Level

User Opinions

Username: Ronak92

What I like about studying this subject: Its easy.

What I dislike about studying this subject: In my opinion, they took out most of the interesting ICT and replaced it with a load of business studies. There are very few good resources avalible - even the text books lack clarity.


Username: i.am.lost

What I like about studying this subject: Not a lot, let's put it that way. I enjoyed the pure practical aspect (i.e. building a system - not the 500 page documentation that went with it), and I learnt a lot about problem solving and did a fair bit of VBA/SQL codinpcg - it was cool. I guess some A2 topics taught me a bit about industry (e.g. disaster recovery management etc) and nothing impresses the ladies more than recalling the eight principles of the Data Protection Act :p

What I dislike about studying this subject: I finished the old course last year, and our AS and A2 courseworks were HUGE (I wrote >1000 pages combined) - new courses are less heavy. This meant it reallyyyyy took up my time December-March and I couldn't focus on my other studies. It is boring as HELL. Seriously. In a 'tear my skin off and boil me in a vat of oil' way. The books (in my day anyway) were HUGELY outdated - Teletext was the next big thing according to them :p - and they were rubbish, except for the amazingness of Mott's textbooks. Also, essays in the A2 = horror. In my experience, all ICT teachers are stupid and crap. And I'm in an ICT specialist school. So good luck!


Username: multiplexing-gamer

What I like about studying this subject: Its pretty easy. Im doing it in year 11, having not studied any formal GCSEs in ICT.

What I dislike about studying this subject: Its really boring! There are no interesting topics, and often it involves common sense.

Username: AJCSShp

What I like about studying this subject: I did AS OCR ICT. It is quite easy, as long as you keep on top of the coursework! I did ICT as a fifth AS, this subject was my 'just relax you don't have to think' subject. I had a really good teacher though, who made the lessons memorable!

What I dislike about studying this subject: The coursework is tedious, it is repetitive and soooo long, if you are organised it is easy to get a good grade in it though. On OCR there is one 2 hour exam which is worth 60% of the AS grade, the exam asks some 11 mark questions, so be prepared to do some essays. I did most of the coursework during class hours, if you actually work during the lessons the coursework doesn't take over your life like it does with some subjects.i.e. History. The worst think was I didn't actually learn anything, some people found the excel homework hard.e.g IF statements, but I had already learnt about them when i did ECDL during Year 10-11.

Username: Ross M

What I like about studying this subject: It has a few select interesting-ish topics and the coursework (building database and website) can be pleasurable.

What I dislike about studying this subject: Theory is boring and so is the coursework write up.


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