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Applied ICT

 

Characteristics of the Course

 

The GCE Applied ICT specifications:

  • are made up of a combination of AS and A2 Units;
  • have an applied vocational dimension;
  • enable progression to study at further and higher education level, training and employment;
  • enable candidates to apply their knowledge in realistic ICT contexts;
  • emphasise the development of the transferable skills necessary in a changing and dynamic working environment.

 

Aims of the course

The specifications in applied ICT encourage candidates to develop broad skills,

knowledge and understanding of the ICT sector. They aim to encourage candidates to:

 

  • develop a broad range of ICT skills and knowledge of the uses of ICT in vocational contexts, as a basis for progression into further learning in ICT related fields, including progression from AS to A2;
  • develop knowledge and understanding of the components, functions and applications of information systems within a range of organisations;
  • develop an understanding of the main principles of solving problems using ICT and develop the skills necessary to apply this understanding;
  • provide opportunities for candidates to develop sufficient depth of understanding to inform their choices regarding further education, training and employment.

 

The A Level (6-unit) specification aims to encourage candidates to:

  • apply their knowledge and understanding of ICT and use skills (eg planning,research, evaluation, problem solving) in vocational contexts;
  • develop an understanding of the impact of information systems on organisations’ personnel, policies and practices;
  • develop project management skills and an understanding of the need to work with others

Units to be studied and assessment methods

AS Unit 1 Information and Communication

This unit will help candidates understand the importance of information and communication within an organisation. Skills in writing, in the use of language, in the selection and manipulation of data as well as in the use of different modes and styles of presentation will be developed. The unit will focus on the nature of information in organisations, on how it is gathered, presented, communicated and used effectively to support the organisation.

AS Unit 2 Software Applications and Tools

This unit will develop skills and understanding in the most commonly used software applications and communications technology. Candidate will be required to use these applications to support business functions in a given context. Candidates will be required to research, select, evaluate and use software to provide solutions to given problems. Candidates will be required to understand issues relating to their choice of software. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

AS Unit 3 Organisations and Information Systems

This unit will help develop an understanding of organisations and the information systems necessary for their support. It will examine the nature of organisations and how they are structured and managed. The unit will help candidates understand how information and ICT systems support the business function. Management information and its use in a business environment will be considered. The unit will look at how information is gathered, managed, communicated and exchanged effectively to support an organisation. It will also consider how information and the surrounding ethical, legal and health and safety issues impact on an organisation. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

A2 Unit 7 Investigating Systems

In this unit candidates will learn why it is important to fully understand the systems development process, the role of Systems Analysis and Design and the importance of the User, in the creation of the best working solutions to business problems. This unit will help develop analysis and design skills using a range of tools and techniques that can be applied in the investigation of systems. Candidates will examine the stages involved in the systems development process and consider the associated documentation including, project plans, feasibility reports, systems specifications and test plans. Candidates will examine and evaluate a range of methods and tools used in the systems investigation process. They will consider alternative solutions and recommendations and appreciate the risks and costs involved. Candidates will be required to work with others to examine issues and to enhance their understanding of possible systems solutions. They will be required to develop and apply project management skills to their work. This is a synoptic unit and brings together and makes connections with the areas of knowledge, skills and understanding covered within the specification. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context

A2 Unit 9 Web Design and Management

In this unit candidates will learn how to develop and design websites using appropriate tools. They will have the opportunity to work with others to examine issues, to determine requirements and to examine possible solutions. In this unit candidates must understand performance considerations, how to use a range of media and how to develop interactive features. They will experience the use of advanced and/or dynamic content on both website presentation and management. Candidates will study a number of different site models and evaluate site structure, ease of navigation and dynamic content where applicable. They will learn how to determine user requirements, to develop, test, document, maintain and evaluate websites. Candidates will be required to develop and apply project management skills to their work. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

A2 Unit 10 Multimedia Technology

This unit will require candidates to understand multimedia requirements and apply appropriate hardware and software in given contexts. They will design, document and present multimedia solutions using a range of techniques including animation and video. Candidates will learn how to evaluate solutions using a structured approach. They will work with others to examine issues, to enhance their understanding of possible solutions and to develop multimedia solutions. They will learn to develop and apply project management skills to their work. Candidates will be required to examine and apply standard ways of working in this context.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The qualification allows for a number of progression routes:

  • Higher Education: the units provide a sound basis for progression to a range of HE courses e.g. Information and Communication Technology, Information Technology, Business Systems, Management Information Systems, Multimedia.
  • Employment: the units aim to maintain and support the recognised standards demanded for information and communication technology education and training in order to meet the requirements of the information and communication technology sectors in industry.