Advanced Higher Computing

Course Overview

The new Advanced Higher Computing Science course builds on the work done in Higher Computing Science.  

Course Content

The course consists of two units - Information Systems Design and Development and Software Design and Development.  


A significant amount of learning will be self directed and require pupils to demonstrate a more mature approach to learning and the ability to work on their own initiative. Pupils will be encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and problem-solving approach to their learning.  Ample opportunity will be given to practise and develop research and investigation skills and higher-order evaluation and analytical skills.  Regular feedback sessions/discussions will be held on a one-to-one basis and on a group basis where appropriate. 


Information Systems Design and Development has two outcomes which are assessed at appropriate times during the course.  The first outcome involves developing and coding a complex information system using appropriate development tools.  The second outcome is a written report which considers the factors involved in the design and implementation of an information system by describing in detail its functionality, technical implementation, security risks and precautions and its legal, economic, environmental and social implications.

Software Design and Development has three outcomes which are also assessed at appropriate times.  The first outcome is a written test designed to allow the pupils to draw on their understanding of advanced concepts in software development and computer architecture by explaining code, describing the purpose of a range of programming constructs and how they relate to low level operations and strucures, and describing how a range of algorithms work.  The second outcome involves developing and testing advanced modular programs in at least two software development environments.  The final outcome involves the production of a detailed report analysing and evaluating the impact of contemporary computing technologies. 

In addition to the unit assessments, pupils also undertake a coursework assignment that encompasses elements of both Information Systems Design and Development and Software Design and Development.  This generally takes place after the prelims in February and is worth 60% of the pupil's final mark.  

The remaining 40% is achievable in the final external SQA exam.  In order to fully prepare pupils for success in the exam, they will undertake additional end-of-topic tests to re-inforce their knowledge and understanding of the concepts.  


Homework is set when appropriate to support and consolidate classroom experiences. Some homework assignments will require pupils to carry out research in their own time.

Recording and Reporting

The unit assessment outcomes and end-of-topic tests form the basis for the information in the pupil tracking reports issued to parents in September, November, February and March while the S5/6 parents night in early December provides an opportunity to discuss successes and/or concerns.



Mrs Summers

Holiday 'tasks'

Information Systems Design Techniques and Web Development units should keep you busy.  Please also ensure you have read through at least the first dozen pages of the Project Assessment Task guide

Mon 26th June

Project Management questions to be reviewed

Mon 19th June

Project Design Process questions to be reviewed.


Past Papers & Marking Schemes

SQA Exemplar* Paper

SQA Specimen* Paper

SQA 2016 Paper and Marking Scheme

2016 Prelim Paper and Marking Scheme

2017 Prelim Paper and Marking Scheme

*Note - the marking instructions are at the end of the file.

Good luck on the 16th!