About National 5 Computing Science


The aims of this course are to enable learners to:

  • Develop computational thinking across a range of contemporary contexts.
  • Develop knowledge and udnerstanding kf key concepts and processes in computing science.
  • Apply skills and knowledge in anlysis, deisgn, implementation and evaluation to a range of digital solutions.
  • Communicate computing concepts and explain computational behaviour clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology.
  • Develop an udnerstanding of the role and impact of computing science in changing and influencing our enviornment and society.

Related to these aims, and underlying the study of computing science,a re a number of unifying themes, including technological progress and trends, the relationship between software, hardware ans system performance and information representation and transfer as a core component of any computation.

National 5 Computing Science consists of two units:

  • Software Design and Development
  • Information System Design and Development


Software Design and Development

The main topics covered in this unit are:

  • Computational constructs
  • Data types and structures
  • Testing and documenting solutions
  • Algorithm speficication
  • Design notations
  • Low-level operations and computer architecture


Information System Design and Development

The main topics covered in this unit are:

  • Structures and links
  • User interface
  • Media types
  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Purpose, features, dunctionality, users
  • Technical implementation (hardwars and software requirements)
  • Technical implementation (storage)
  • Technical Implementation (networking/connectivity)
  • Security Risks
  • Security precautions
  • Legal Implications
  • Environmental impact



The course assessment consists of two components:

  • A question paper
  • An assignment

The question paper will have a value of 90 marks and will assess breadth of knowledge from across the course, depth of understanding and application of this knowledge and understanding to answer appropriately challenging questions.

Section 1 of the question paper will have 20 marks and will consist of short answer questions designed to assess the breadth of knowledge and to require some claculations.

Section 2 of the question paper will require candidates to demonstrate application of knowledge and understanding in answering challenging conext-based questions.

The assignment will assess practical application of knowledge and skills from across the course, to develop a solution to a challenging computing science problem.  It will assess leraners' skills in analysing a problem, designing, implementing and testing a solution to the problem and reporting on that solution.  The assignment will have 60 marks.


Progression from this course:

  • Higher Computing Science
  • National Progression Award in Digital Computing (Computer Games Development and/or Web Design Fundamentals)