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Computer Science and Creative iMedia

The subject is offered as two options at Key Stage 4 – GCSE Computer Science and Creative iMedia. The GCSE Computer Science course focuses on computational thinking, data, computers, networks, and issues and impact of computing in the world today. As well as analysing and solving problems by designing, writing, testing, and refining programs. The Creative iMedia course will develop knowledge, understanding and practical skills that would be used in the media industry.

GCSE Computer Science

There’s more to Computer Science than simply programming. Computer Science is the study of how computer systems work, how they are constructed and programmed. A good understanding of Maths is needed to help you on this course. This course is studied for 3 hours per week. 

It consists of a body of knowledge, a set of techniques/methods for solving problems, as well as practical programming skills. What this means is that a course in Computer Science has to cover a lot of theory teaching, as well as plenty of practical problem-solving and programming.

If you want to know what happens inside a computer and the programming that helps it run, then this is the course you should choose.


COURSE INFORMATION: Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Computer Science (601/8058/4)


The course is assessed by two exams, worth 50% of the overall grade each. The first exam is a written paper focusing on Topics 1-5 (see below) and the second paper is completed online and will cover Topic 6: Programming using python.

The subject content is divided into six topics:

  • Topic 1: Computational thinking – understanding of what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work; ability to follow, amend and write algorithms; ability to construct truth tables.
  • Topic 2: Data – understanding of binary, data representation, data storage and compression.
  • Topic 3: Computers – understanding of hardware and software components of computer systems and characteristics of programming languages.
  • Topic 4: Networks – understanding of computer networks and network security.
  • Topic 5: Issues and impact – awareness of emerging trends in computing technologies, and the impact of computing on individuals, society and the
  • environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues.
  • Topic 6: Programming - understanding what algorithms are, what they are used for and how they work in relation to creating programs; understanding how to decompose and analyse problems; ability to read, write, refine and evaluate programs.

You can opt to take both GCSE Computer Science and Creative iMedia if you wish.


Cambridge National Creative iMedia

You may be interested in this if you want an engaging qualification where you will use your learning in practical, real-life situations, such as:

  • developing visual identities for clients.
  • planning and creating original digital graphics.
  • planning, creating and reviewing original digital media products.

This will help you to develop independence and confidence in using skills that would be relevant to the media industry.

The qualification will also help you to develop learning and skills that can be used in other life and work situations, such as:

  • thinking about situations and deciding what is required to be successful.
  • exploring different options and choosing the best way forward to solve a problem.
  • exploring and generating original ideas to find imaginative solutions to problems.
  • selecting the best tools and techniques to use to solve a problem.
  • appropriate use of media to convey meaning.
  • use of planning techniques to complete tasks in an organised way, which meet deadlines.


COURSE INFORMATION: Cambridge National in Creative iMedia (603/7090/7)


The course consists of three units, two of them are based on coursework and the third is a written exam, which is completed in the summer of Year 11. By taking this option, you will be taking a Level 2 VCF course (not a BTEC) from OCR. You will gain grades equivalent to GCSE grades 9 - 1 on successful completion of the course.

The units covered are:

R093: Creative iMedia in the media industry

This is assessed by taking a 1 hour and 30-minute written exam and is worth 40% of the overall grade. In this unit you will learn about the media industry, digital media products, how they are planned, and the media codes which are used to convey meaning, create impact and engage audiences. Topics include:

  • The media industry.
  • Factors influencing product design.
  • Pre-production planning.
  • Distribution consideration.
R094: Visual identity and digital graphics

This is assessed by completing a set assignment and is worth 25% of the overall grade. In this unit, you will learn how to develop visual identities for clients and use the concepts of graphic design to create original digital graphics to engage target audiences. Topics include:

  • Develop visual identity.
  • Plan digital graphics for products.
  • Create visual identity and digital graphics.
R097: Interactive digital media

This is assessed by completing a set assignment and is worth 35% of the overall grade. In this unit, you will learn how to plan, create and review interactive digital media products. Topics include:

  • Plan interactive digital media.
  • Create interactive digital media.
  • Review interactive digital media.