The Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Digital Technology and Computer Science

Head of Department: Mr O’ Brien

Members of Department: Mr Ross

Teaching and Learning:


Year 8 Topics

Introduction to My School


Desktop Publishing

Year 9 Topics


Computer Programming (Scratch)

Year 10 Topics

Website Design

Computer Programming (Python)



Course Title: Digital Technology

Awarding Body: CCEA

Introduction: Digital technology incorporates aspects of computer science and information technology. It explores how we can use technology to create, store, process, analyse and present information in a digital context. This includes computer architecture, networks, web technology, digital media, programming tools and software applications.

Students choose either Route A: Multimedia or Route B: Programming; based on this, the qualification they achieve is either GCSE Digital Technology (Multimedia) or GCSE Digital Technology (Programming).

Students acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of digital technology in a variety of contexts. They also develop creative and practical digital technology skills, either using a range of generic software or in an object-oriented environment. They explore the legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental impact of digital technology. This qualification also helps them to develop transferable skills such as creative problem solving and teamwork.

The specification has five units:

  • Unit 1: Digital Technology
  • Unit 2: Digital Authoring Concepts
  • Unit 3: Digital Authoring Practice
  • Unit 4: Digital Development Concepts
  • Unit 5: Digital Development Practice.

Unit 1 is compulsory. Students then choose either Units 2 and 3 (Route A) or Units 4 and 5 (Route B).

Link to specification:


Computer Science

Course Title: Computer Science

Awarding Body: WJEC

Introduction: This specification is a unique specification which demands the student to demonstrate a wide range of skills including the following

  • an understanding of, and the ability to apply, the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • the ability to analyse problems in computational terms through practical of solving such problems, including writing programs to do so
  • the capacity for thinking creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • the capacity to see relationships between different aspects of computer science
  • mathematical skills
  • the ability to articulate the individual (moral), social (ethical), legal and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology.

Computers are widely used in all aspects of business, industry, government, education, leisure and the home. In this increasingly technological age, a study of computer science, and particularly how computers are used in the solution of a variety of problems, is not only valuable to the learners but also essential to the future well-being of the country.

Computer science integrates well with subjects across the curriculum. It demands both logical discipline and imaginative creativity in the selection and design of algorithms and the writing, testing and debugging of programs; it relies on an understanding of the rules of language at a fundamental level; it encourages an awareness of the management and organisation of computer systems; it extends the learners’ horizons beyond the school or college environment in the appreciation of the effects of computer science on society and individuals. For these reasons, computer science is as relevant to a learner studying arts subjects as it is to one studying science subjects.

The WJEC AS and A Level in Computer Science has been designed to give an indepth understanding of the fundamental concepts of computer science and a broad scope of study opportunities.

Link to specification:


Course Title: BTEC Level 3 National Subsidiary in Information Technology

Awarding Body: Edexcel

Introduction: The Information Technology (IT) sector and aspects of the creative industries, e.g. computer games development, are highly skilled and high growth sectors of the economy. Also, the IT sector is a key enabler for every other industry in the UK. The Sector Skills Council, eskills UK, estimate in the Technology Insights report (2012) that the IT industry contributes 8% of (or£75 billion to) the economy (Gross Value Add). They forecast that over the subsequent seven years the sector could generate up to an additional £47bn GVA to the economy and create 500,000 new jobs.

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (360 GLH) in IT is part of a larger suite of BTEC National qualifications, in a range of sizes, which share the common purpose of helping people to become occupationally ready to take up employment in the IT sector and aspects of the creative industries at the appropriate level. This can follow either directly after achieving the qualification, or via the stepping stone of Higher Education (HE) in university or college.

By studying a BTEC National, learners develop knowledge, understanding and skills required by the sector, including essential employability skills, and apply them in real work contexts. Learners can operate at a standard that can reasonably be expected of an 18 year old in full-time education.

Link to specification:

GCSE/A2 Examination highlights:

Last year 100% of students achieved A* - C grades in both GCSE ICT and Computer Science.

Last year was the first year that students undertook Computer Science at AS Level. 100% of students passed the exam with 75% of students achieving A grades.

Additional information:

Success in Competitions: This year we had a number of students entering the Irish National Programming Olympiad. This competition is highly regarded and requires students to complete a number of qualifying programming rounds. Nkosithani Khamalo successfully qualified for the national finals held at Dublin City University and finished in a highly respectable 18th place.

Clubs and Societies: The ICT club is open to all students at lunchtimes in the Christchurch building. Support is provided by staff at that time and it is an opportunity for students to deepen knowledge and understanding through practical skills.

28 2021
CDG A Level standardisation and moderation
06 2021
GCSE CDG moderation & standardisation
10 2021
Year 10 Exams
10 2021
Year 11 Study Leave
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
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