BTEC Level 3 ICT or A-Level Computer ScienceWatch
I didn't do Computing at GCSE, all of my classmates did. I essentially had to walk into a classroom where everyone else know more about the subject, and the teacher liked to use the phrase "You should remember this from GCSE, so I won't go over it again" which meant I had to invest a lot of time into private study to catch up. That being said about halfway through year 12 I went from scrapping a D to placing in the top 3 results for the end of topic tests and mock exams, but that was due to a very strong work ethic and a lot of spare time over Christmas. Then came the coursework, which stole from me all the free time I had. It was gruelling and tiresome as my teacher was more fazed that we hit his impossible deadlines than that the work was to a good standard (in fact I submitted the same draft 3 times with different numbers to see if he'd actually mark them - he didn't) That only contributed for 20% of my grade, for almost 80% of my time...
My class started with 22 students and there is 11 of us entering the A-Level examinations and 2 students entering the AS-Level examinations, with the other 9 students dropping the course entirely (one of which moved to college in December year 1 to study BTEC ICT)
All that being said, I have loved the class and have learnt so much about computer science and made some really good friends who have helped me understand the topics in much more detail, but that isn't because I'm doing an A-Level.
Here is the course outline form the OCR Specification, so you know how much work you have to do.
and yes that's 5 hours of exams, both of mine are about a week apart and are morning exams which are my personal least favourite.
I don't know much about the BTEC apart from that my friend who left the course really enjoys it, as he doesn't have to do 2 other A levels alongside it and that my Computer Science teacher did a BTEC in ICT, then went and did his degree like an A-Level student would and is the Director of ICT for the school, as well as the Head of Faculty for Computer Science and really enjoys his job. If I could go back in time and choose again I'd have gone to college to do the BTEC as it would have got me the same results with less work, but that might not be what's best for you.
You should also check out the CyberFirst Degree Level Apprenticeship and the other schemes CyberFirst and all the stuff they offer, it's run by GCHQ and is massive on Cyber Security stuff, and loads of it is free!
Hi, My time in year 11 is coming to an end, and I am deciding what courses to chose for college. I am very torn between the BTEC Level 3 ICT or chose A-Level Computer Science, my aspirations in the future is to go down the route of Cyber-Security as i am very interested in this field. If anyone can give me advice on which subjects I should pick to achieve my aspiration it will be massively helpful thanks.