Computing Science – Advanced Higher

Administration and IT

National 4 & 5 / Higher

Business Management

National 3 & 4 / National 5 / Higher / Advanced Higher

Computing Science

National 4 & 5 / Higher / Advanced Higher

CompSci PhotoThe purpose of the Course is to build on the knowledge, understanding and practical skills developed by the learner in the Higher Computing Science Course, and to provide a useful bridge towards study of computing science and other disciplines in higher education. This is achieved by consolidating and extending learners’ depth and breadth of learning, providing opportunity for independent and investigative work, while encouraging teamwork and requiring candidates to develop and present a proposal for a computing-based project.


Aims of the Course 

  • understand and apply computational thinking skills across a range of computing contexts
  • extend and apply knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts and processes in computing science
  • apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation to a range of digital solutions with increasingly complex aspects
  • apply creative problem-solving skills across a range of contexts
  • develop autonomous learning, investigative and research skills
  • communicate advanced computing concepts clearly and concisely, using appropriate terminology
  • develop an informed understanding of the role and impact of computing technologies in transforming and influencing our environment and society


Course Content

 The course consists of two mandatory Units:


  • Software Design and Development – This Unit explores a range of advanced concepts and processes relating to software design and development, including the use of standard algorithms, structured data types and a range of programming constructs. Learners will develop skills in, developing well-structured, complex modular programs through practical tasks, using appropriate programming languages.


  • Information System Design and Development – This Unit explores a range of advanced concepts and processes relating to the design and development of complex information systems. Learners will develop skills in developing and implementing complex information systems through practical tasks using appropriate development tools. Learners will develop their independent learning skills by investigating a contemporary development, describing its purpose, features and applications, a related technical challenge or current area of development, examining its legal and/or ethical implications, and evaluating its environmental, economic and/or social impact.


  • Project – Pupils also need to complete a coursework project which is a substantial piece of work accounting for 60% of the total mark.



A broad overview of the mandatory subject skills, knowledge and understanding that will be assessed in the Course is given in this section.


This covers:

  • applying computational thinking to solve complex computing problems
  • analysing complex problems within computing science across a range of contemporary contexts
  • analysing, designing, developing, implementing, testing and evaluating digital solutions (including computer programs) to complex problems across a range of contexts
  • developing advanced skills in computer programming and the ability to communicate how a program works
  • communicating understanding of complex concepts related to software design and development and information system design, development and management clearly and concisely, using appropriate terminology
  • knowledge and understanding of the wide role and impact of contemporary computing technologies on the environment and society
  • investigating and reporting on contemporary computing technologies



As this class comes along with the Higher class, there is a greater emphasis on the pupils to take responsibility for their own learning and work on their own through a set of agreed tasks.   They will spend the majority of class time developing their project which accounts for 60% of the total mark.



This course will be assessed trough a combination of a project and a question paper.  The purpose of the project is to assess practical application of knowledge and skills from the Units. It will assess pupils’ skills in analysis, design, implementation, testing and reporting writing. The project is worth 60% of the total mark and the question paper is worth 40% of the total mark.



Pupils will be expected to complete regular homework exercises which will reinforce class learning. Pupils will also be encouraged to practise the skills that they have developed.