"In a general way, we can define computing to mean any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computers. Thus, computing includes designing and building hardware and software systems for a wide range of purposes; processing, structuring, and managing various kinds of information; doing scientific studies using computers; making computer systems behave intelligently; creating and using communications and entertainment media; finding and gathering information relevant to any particular purpose, and so on. The list is virtually endless, and the possibilities are vast."

and it defines five sub-disciplines of the computing field: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Systems, Information Technology, and Software Engineering.

However, Computer Science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications.

It is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical procedures (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information, whether such information is encoded as bits in a computer memory or transcribed in genes and protein structures in a biological cell.

A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems.

Qualification objectives

The aims of the Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE in Computer Science are to enable
learners to:
 develop knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science
 develop and apply computational thinking skills to analyse problems and design solutions across a range of contexts
 gain practical experience of designing, writing, and testing computer programs that
accomplish specific goals
 develop the ability to reason, explain and evaluate computing solutions
 develop awareness of current and emerging trends in computing technologies
 develop awareness of the impact of computing on individuals, society and the environment, including ethical, legal and ownership issues
 communicate computer science concepts and explain computational solutions clearly and concisely using appropriate terminology.

Computer science will become an EBacc subject, the Education Secretary announced today. It will be added to the list of separate science options, making four separate sciences instead of the traditional three. OCR’s GCSE in Computing will specifically count towards the EBacc in performance tables.

OCR has led the way in developing qualifications in the subject. It has a GCSE and an A Level in Computing, as well as a brand new Entry Level qualification. Programming is also incorporated in Cambridge Nationals in ICT and will be in Cambridge Technicals in IT from September.

Following today's announcement, Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive, said:

“I welcome this move. The inclusion of GCSE Computing in the EBacc will support the growth of this exciting and creative subject in schools. There are many schools who have enthusiastically embraced teaching Computing already. Since we pioneered our GCSE in 2010, the number of entries has risen by over 3000%. Schools also need support to deliver computing. Training and resources are key ingredients too and we are proud partners in the Google Raspberry Pi initiative announced yesterday.”

Computing is of enormous importance to the economy, and the role of Computer Science as a discipline itself and as an 'underpinning' subject across Science and Engineering is growing rapidly.

Computer technology continues to advance rapidly and the way that technology is consumed has also been changing at a fast pace over recent years.

The growth in the use of mobile devices and web-related technologies has exploded, resulting in new challenges for employers and employees. For example, businesses today require an ever-increasing number of technologically-aware individuals.

This is even more so in the gaming, mobile and web related industries and this specification has been designed with this in mind.

OCR's GCSE Computing fulfils the Computer Science element of the EBacc

In January 2013, the government announced that GCSE Computing will count as a science option in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) for secondary school league tables from 2014 (published in January 2015) – alongside Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Any student who sits any three of the four separate sciences and achieves at least a C in two of them will meet the science requirement of the EBacc.

Science plus Additional Science will still count towards the EBacc as an alternative combination. Computing cannot be substituted for Science or Additional Science in this combination.

OCR's GCSE Computing fulfils the Computer Science element of the EBacc

In January 2013, the government announced that GCSE Computing will count as a science option in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) for secondary school league tables from 2014 (published in January 2015) – alongside Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Any student who sits any three of the four separate sciences and achieves at least a C in two of them will meet the science requirement of the EBacc.

Science plus Additional Science will still count towards the EBacc as an alternative combination. Computing cannot be substituted for Science or Additional Science in this combination.