About National 4 Computing Science

Purpose and aims of National 4 Computing Science

Computing science is vital to everyday life - socially, technologically and economically.  It shapes the world in which we live and its future.  Computing is embedded in the world aroudn us, from systems and devices in our homes and places of work, to how we access education, entertainment, transportation and communication.  Understanding computational processes and thinking is also vital to many other fields, including science, economics, business and industry.  While many learners will want to become computing professionals, all will benefit from the development of these foundational skills and the underpinning knowledge necessary to meet the needs of society today and for the future.

The aims of the 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, are a number of unifying themes, including technological progress and trends, the relationship between software, hardware and system performance and information representation and transfer as a core component of any computation.  These are used to explore a variety of specialist areas through practical and investigative tasks.

National 4 Computing Science consists of 2 units:

  • Software Design and Development
  • Information System Design and Development

 

Software Design and Development

The aim of this unit is for the learner to develop basic knowledge, understanding and practical problem-solving skills in softwaer design and development.  Learners will develop basic computational thinking and programming skills through practical tasks, using appropriate software development environments, across a range of contemporary contexts.  These tasks will involve simple features and straightforward contexts.  they will also develop an understanding of how data and instructions are stored in binary form and how programming underpins computer applictions.  Lerners will also explore the impact of contemporary software-based applictions on society or the environment.

 

Information System Design and Development

The aim of this unit is for the learner to develop basic knbowledge, understanding and practical problem-solving skills in informtion system design and development.  Learners will implement practical solutions using appropriate development tools to create databases, web-based information systems, multimedia information systems.  These tasks will involve simple features and straighforward contexts.  Learners will also develop an understanding of basic computer hardware, software, connectivity and security issues, through a range of practical and investigative tasks.

Assessment

All units are internally assessed against requirements detailed in the unit specification.

The assessment of the units is as follows:

Software Design and Development

  • Skills in software design and development.
  • Knowledge and understanding of software design and development.
  • Understanding of the impact of software-based applications on the environment or society.

Information System Design and Development

  • Skills in information system design and development.
  • Knowledge and understanding of information system design and development.
  • Understanding the security risks involved in digital communication.

Added value Unit

The added value unit will focus on:

  • Challenge
  • Appplication

The learner will draw on, extend and apply the skills and knowledge they have developed during the course.  These will be assessed through an assignment which involves the application of skills and knowledge from both units, to anlyse and solve an appropriately challenging computing science problem.

Progression

Completion of this course may provide progression to:

  • National 5 Computing Science
  • Level 4 NPA Computer Games Development