Introduction

Computer science is the study of computing and algorithmic processes. Leaving Certificate Computer Science includes how programming and computational thinking can be applied to the solution of problems, and how computing technology impacts the world around us.

The specification is constructed into 3 strands, whose learning outcomes are interwoven. The 3 strands are:

  • Practices and principles
  • Core concepts
  • Computer science in practice

Students will learn:

  • The practices and principles of computer science, such as computational thinking, computers and society, and creative design
  • How to analyse problems in computational terms and understand concepts such as abstraction, logic, algorithms, computer systems, data representation and evaluation
  • Programming languages and how to read, write, test and modify computer programs
  • The process of designing computational artefacts such as web pages, digital animations, simulations, games, apps and robotic systems
  • The ethical, historical, environmental and technological aspects of computer science, and how it impacts the social and economic development of society.

The role of programming in computer science is like that of practical work in the other subjects—it provides motivation, and a context within which ideas are brought to life. Students learn programming by solving problems through computational thinking processes and through practical applications such as applied learning tasks.

The Leaving Certificate Computer Science specification is designed for all students. It applies to many aspects of students’ lives and is therefore relevant to a wide range of student interests. It is situated within the context of senior cycle education.