These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.
Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.
The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.
Computer Science is the study of computers and computer programming. The Leaving Certificate Computer Science course introduces students to problem-solving using programming and computational knowledge. The course develops an understanding of fundamental concepts of computer science and technology’s role in society. Through applied exercises, students will develop practical skills while working in teams to create functioning computer applications.
Computing technology now influences every part of society; it is key to our lives. The knowledge and skills learned will be valuable to the student regardless of whether they pursue a career in technology.
Why Study Computer Science
What kind of Student Would Computer Science suit?
The Computer Science course covers a range of topics; the focus of the course is finding practical solutions to problems using computer science techniques such as automation, programming and computer systems. Students will learn how computer systems operate and what parts make a computer system, for example software (the code), hardware (the actual machines), data, communications and users.
Students will study the principles of computer science, the basic terms and concepts of programming, such as abstraction, logic, algorithms, computer systems, data representation and evaluation.
The ethical and social elements of technology will be studied, including how technology is changing personal life and society. As part of this, time will be spent learning the history of information technology and how it has changed the economy, education and society.
The course is structured in three core strands,
1. Interactive information systems
3. Modelling and simulation
4. Embedded systems
At the close of the course, students will be assessed on their understanding of the following learning goals
As the course is still being formulated, it is not possible to say with certainty the content of the assessments, however the general structure is available to us.
Assessment of Leaving Certificate Computer Science will consist of
(A) An end of course computer-based examination, comprising a varied format assessing all aspects of the Computer Science course.
(B) Coursework - this will assess the ability of students in the elements of the course that cannot be assessed properly in an examination. It will involve the creation of an original computer application, combined with a report detailing the work involved in creating the application and how it functions.
The end of course examination will be worth 70% of the total mark, with the coursework assessment making up the remaining 30%.
Students will be graduating into a world influenced at every level by technology. The Computer Science course will have equipped them with skills and knowledge that will help them thrive in this world. The course aims to give them the learning habits and critical thinking outlook to adapt to rapidly changing technology.
The range of career opportunities is wide, including software developers, IT support and data analysts. Beyond this the skills learned will be transferable to a much broader range of career paths, the problem solving, logical thinking and programming skills developed in the course will be of value in many workplaces and activities.