Redefining revision as continual practice

AQA A/AS level Computer Science update

Student surrounded by books

The new 2026 AQA (7517) course has been broken down from 13 topics into 51 sub-topics, but AS level has been discontinued.

When we created the AQA A level (7517) course we identified 13 topics in the course specification. However, many of those topics are quite broad, covering a large range of material. By popular demand we have restructured the course from 2026 onwards to three levels of granularity exactly matching the numbering within the specification. For example:

Topic 4.1 Fundamentals of programming now has two sub-topics:

  • 4.1.1 Programming
  • 4.1.2 Programming paradigms

Topic 4.2 Fundamentals of data structures now has seven sub-topics:

  • 4.2.1 Data structures and abstract data types
  • 4.2.2 Queues
  • 4.2.3 Stacks
  • 4.2.5 Trees
  • 4.2.6 Hash tables
  • 4.2.7 Dictionaries
  • 4.2.8 Vectors

Restructuring the course now means that some sub-topics are light on content. Generally, we aim for a minimum of ten Quiz questions and five Advance questions in each sub-topic. Instead of waiting until all the new content has been written we have decided to release the 2026 course now for schools that need to make purchases in the summer term and add the additional content as it becomes ready. That will amount to about 250 new questions in total.

We are pleased to announce that Alan Harrison, author of two popular books and podcast, "How to Teach Computer Science" and "How to Learn Computer Science" will be writing the new content this summer and autumn.

We should also stress that these are our minimum targets, and we hope to continually add more Advance questions to the course over time.

AQA AS level Computer Science (7516) discontinued

Due to the workload involved in restructuring the course, we have decided to discontinue the AQA AS level in Smart Revise. Only 500 candidates across the country were entered in 2023, and only a very small proportion of those were using Smart Revise. As the course is in decline, we have taken the tough decision to stop supporting it. We apologise to those students and teachers who were hoping for a 2025 AS course.