SQA Higher Computing Science

Course Start Date: August 2023


Course Aims

To enable learners to:

  • apply computational-thinking skills across a range of contemporary contexts

  • apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes in computing science
  • apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation, testing and evaluation to a range of digital solutions
  • communicate computing concepts and explain computational behaviour clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology
  • develop an understanding of the role and impact of computing science in changing and influencing our environment and society


The course comprises four main areas:

Area Description
Software Design and Development Candidates develop knowledge, understanding and practical problem-solving skills in software design and development using Python. This develops their programming and computational-thinking skills by implementing practical solutions and explaining how these operate.
Computer Systems Candidates develop an understanding of how data and instructions are stored in binary form and develop their knowledge of computer architecture.
Database Design and Development

Candidates develop knowledge, understanding and practical problem-solving skills in database design and development using MySQL.

Web Design and Development

This allows candidates to analyse, design, implement, test and evaluate practical solutions to web-based problems, using a range of development tools such as HTML, CSS, HTML Forms and Javascript.


Students will have to complete a timed open book Coursework Assignment. The purpose of the assignment is to assess the practical application of knowledge and skills from across the Course. 

The exam is worth approximately 70% of the pupil’s mark with the remaining 30% coming from a piece of externally assessed practical coursework.

Technical Requirements 

To ensure they have access to all the learning resources on offer students will need to ensure they have a device that meets the following technical requirements.

  • has installed the Chrome (recommended), Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox browser.

  • has an integrated microphone and webcam, or ability to support a plug-in webcam with microphone

  • has an internet connection with a minimum of 2mbps to support standard definition video to allow participation in the live Google Meet sessions. 

  • A keyboard and mouse to allow interfacing with the device, this will be necessary for the delivery of class tests during the session.