Higher (SCQF Level 6)


  • Computing
  • Highers, National Qualifications & Units

Why take this course?

Computing science is vital to everyday life — socially, technologically and economically. It shapes the world in which we live, and the future. Computing is embedded all around us – from systems and devices in our homes and workplace, to how we access education, entertainment, transport and communication.

This course will introduce learners to an advanced range of computational processes and thinking, teaching you how to apply a rigorous approach to the design and development process across a variety of contemporary contexts. You will also gain an awareness of the importance that computing professionals play in meeting the needs of society today and for the future, in fields which include science, education, business and industry.

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 a range of practical and investigative tasks delivered within IT classrooms at a College Campus. Throughout the course you will be able to review and identify how your skills are developing. You should demonstrate:

  • A willingness to learn;
  • Planning and preparation skills;
  • Good timekeeping skills;
  • An interest in the course content and a commitment to learning;
  • An ability to work independently;
  • An ability to establish/maintain good relationships with others;
  • Problem-solving skills.

What you will experience

The course is made up of two broad units:

Information Systems Design and Development

During this unit you will develop information systems using appropriate development tools. You will learn how to apply contemporary design and development methodologies, create a complex structure with links, write code, integrate different media types and test against appropriate criteria. You will also consider the factors involved in the design and implementation of an information system, including functionality, range and types of users, consider technical implementation in relation to hardware and software requirements and storage and connectivity. You will also consider security risks, economic and social impact and legal and environmental implications.

Software Design and Development

The general aim of this Unit is to develop knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts and practical problem-solving skills in software design and development through appropriate software development environments. You will develop your programming and computational thinking skills by designing, implementing, testing and evaluating practical solutions and explaining how these programs work. You will also develop an understanding of computer architecture and the concepts that underpin how programs work. You will also gain an awareness of the impact of contemporary computing technologies.

During this course you will:

  • Develop and learn how to apply aspects of computational thinking in a range of contemporary contexts;
  • Extend and apply knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts and processes in computing science;
  • Apply skills and knowledge in analysis, design, implementation and evaluation to a range of digital solutions with some complex aspects;
  • Communicate advanced computing concepts and explain computational behaviour clearly and concisely, using appropriate terminology;
  • Develop awareness of current trends in computing technologies and their impact in transforming and influencing our environment and society.

To achieve the full qualification you must complete all of the units, as well as the end of course examination.