Higher Computing Science

The course is currently studied over the full academic year with five full periods per week. The class will often be shared with pupils studying Advanced Higher Computing Science.  Whilst the course is very much tutorial and practical based, it is expected at this level, that students will take responsibility for their own additional learning using the abundance of course materials made available for them.  The Heriot-Watt Scholar package will be issued for this purpose, whilst other online learning tools such as BBC Bitesize and Google Classroom are available to support pupils through their progression.  It is also expected that students will download the relevant open source software that the course uses.

The 2 topic areas that students will cover:

  • Software Design & Development
  • Information Systems Design & Development

Added Value Unit

An Added Value Unit addresses the key purposes and aims of the course by focusing on breadth, challenge and application. This will be assessed through an assignment which involves the application of skills and knowledge from the other units.


The two topic areas will be assessed internally via a series of predefined tasks throughout the year. Successful completion of these is necessary to allow the final exam to be undertaken.  The Added Value element will assess learners’ skills in analysing a problem, designing a solution to the problem, implementing a solution to the problem, and testing and reporting on that solution.  This is also internally marked and accounts for 40% of the overall course mark.  A final exam worth 60% is taken at the end of the course and externally marked.

Progression/Career Opportunities

This course or its Units may provide progression to other qualifications in Computing Science, such as Advanced Higher or further study at Degree level.

SQA Information