Computing Science (N4/5, H)

Computers have an enormous impact on the way we live, think and act. Nowadays, we live in a digitised, computerised, programmable world and to make sense of it, students need an understanding of the computing concepts behind the technology. Whether you want to design a multimedia website to promote and sell your company’s products or to showcase your latest art work; or maybe develop a program or app to create scientific models or measure fitness, Computing Science is the subject that makes all of this possible.

Computing Science courses at Inverclyde Academy aim to develop essential skills for learning, life and work as students become increasingly confident at writing code and developing complex software solutions.

You can read more about the courses offered by the Computing Science Department by clicking here

National 4, National 5 and Higher Computing Science 

The National 4, 5 and Higher qualifications are designed for pupils who have a general interest in computing science, as well as those considering further study or a career in computing science and related disciplines. It provides sufficient breadth, flexibility and choice to meet the needs of all learners.

Pupils studying computing science will develop a range of transferable skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work, opening up a wide variety of career and study opportunities.

Course Units and Content

The content of the National 4, 5 and Higher courses includes:

Software Design and Development

  • Become confident in applying the fundamentals of computer programming techniques
  • Design, create and test software solutions using problems solving skills
  • Able to confidently tackle increasingly complex programming problems.

Web Design and Development

  • Able to develop websites using modern coding techniques (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  • Understand how to integrate different media types and coding to produce multimedia, interactive web sites.
  • Develop creativity skills by developing own websites which apply principles of good design.

Database Design and Development

  • Able to develop relational databases which are relied upon and widely used across industry and web sites.
  • Become confident in using SQL coding to perform database searches and other operations.
  • Use recognised design techniques to plan effective database solutions and solve problems.

Computer Systems

  • Investigate technical components and functions of the latest digital devices.
  • Able to explain how different types of digital data are represented in binary.
  • Able to explain how data is kept secure within computer systems and across the internet.

Course Assessment 

National 5 and Higher:

  • SQA practical course assignment (30%)
  • SQA final exam (70%)
  • Course award is graded A – D based on combined performance in assignment and exam.

National 4: 

  • Internally marked Added Value Unit
  • Internally marked unit assessments
  • Course award is either Pass or Fail. Pupils must pass both elements of course assessment


The Computing Department provides a variety of progression routes. Upon completion of each level, progression is as follows:

  • N4 to N5 Computing Science
  • N5 to Higher Computing Science
  • Higher to Advanced Higher Computing Science
  • NPA in Cyber Security at Level 5 and 6.


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