Higher Computing Coursework Part 2


The following document provides an overview of the changes to assessment in the Higher Computing Science course, which will be implemented from session 2018-19.

The course content will be organised into the same four areas as the National 5 course: software design and development, computer systems, database design and development, and web design and development.

Details of the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be covered in the course can be found in the following document. In the process of developing further exemplification we identified three minor amendments that we have now made to the skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • In Web Testing, we have removed compatibility testing of operating system
  • In HTML Implementation, ‘main’ has been added to the list of required tags
  • In SQL Implementation, ‘calculated fields’ has been amended to ‘computed values’

28 February 2018 - additional resources

Further clarification and exemplification of the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be covered in the course and links to teaching resources can be found in the following document:

The Web design and development exemplification can be used with reference to the following files:

We will publish the revised Higher course specification by the end of April, and course support notes will be added as an appendix by the end of September 2018 to provide further advice and guidance. 

Standard algorithms

There is always more than one way to implement a standard algorithm. The examples used have been designed as revision materials that exemplify some of the ways to implement these algorithms. In each case, it is presumed that these algorithms are procedures in their own right.

That is to say that many languages will contain pre-defined functions to find maximum and minimum values. It may also be the case that programmers create their own functions to return the value of a linear search or count occurrence algorithm.

The purpose of this revision guide is not to show in depth examples of how to create and call these functions. This section is for revision purposes and simply exemplifies the structure of each algorithm.

Examples are presented in the reference language issued by the SQA as well as in the following high level languages:

  • Visual Studio 2010 (VB 10.0) - o Should be accessible to users of VB5, VB6, VS2008 and subsequent versions of Visual Basic.NET/Visual Studio
  • LiveCode
  • Python
  • Java (Using BlueJ)
  • True Basic
  • Xojo - Formerly REALbasic
  • Pascal
  • Comal

In an exam setting the reference language examples could be used within questions. It is crucial that you understand the reference language examples.

Worked examples in high level languages are designed to aid revision during class work tasks, unit assessment and coursework tasks. They are not exhaustive as there are many ways to implement each algorithm.

Meaningful identifiers

It is always important to use meaningful identifiers within an algorithm. For example, if you wish to store a minimum value, this would be represented by the identifier ‘minimum’.

This avoids confusion and uncertainty and allows multiple programmers to make sense of algorithms that may not have been designed by the programmer creating the code.

Sometimes, high level languages make use of shorthand identifiers that are regarded as semi-standards. For example, Java programmers often use ‘i' to represent an index or counter.

To avoid confusion, counter is used throughout this section to represent an index value when referencing an array within a loop.

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