Revised Computing programmes

9:32am GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008

From December 2008, all existing computer-related papers will be set using a new scheme.

Centres submitting candidates for Management Information Systems and Computer Appreciation & Applications should note that the final examinations for these subjects will be in December 2009. After that series, only the subjects listed under the computing scheme listed below will be available.

Structure of the new Computing programme

ICM Certificate: (4 subjects)

  • General Purpose Software
  • Information Processing
  • Programming
  • Numeracy & Statistics

ICM Diploma: (4 subjects)

  • Number and Logic
  • Systems Analysis
  • Applications
  • Programming Project

ICM Advanced Diploma: (4 subjects)

  • Hardware & Operating Systems
  • Managing Computer Systems
  • Networks
  • Feasibility Study

The following table shows the changes that have been made and indicate where new subjects have been introduced and also where existing subjects have been replaced with more up-to-date content.

Relationship between the new and existing syllabuses

List of subjects in the new and old Computing programmes

Old Course (to be replaced)

New Course

Computer Applications General Purpose Software
Information Processing Information Processing
Computer Programming 1 Programming
Numeracy & Accounting Numeracy & Statistics
Computer Programming 2
Computer Arithmetic & Logic Number & Logic
Systems Analysis & Design Systems Analysis
Programming Project Programming Project
Hardware & Computer Architecture Hardware & Operating Systems
Management & Computer Systems Managing Computer Systems
Systems & Database Theory
Feasibility Study Feasibility Study

Details of content in each subject

Note to Centres: Learning material is being produced that covers all the revised computing subjects and this will be available on the ICM website.

Applications (APP) – Emphasis on how REAL business systems work. Detailed study of specific business systems such as mail order retail schemes, customer accounts, hotel bookings, banking, stock control, library systems, etc. More emphasis on how the systems work and the Special Purpose software used. Candidates will not be expected to give details of particular versions of packages available but instead to describe the processes involved, means of data capture, files used and the people involved.

General Purpose Packages (GPP) – Word processing, Spreadsheet, Database, Graphics and Operating Systems – treated more as case studies than exercises. Installation of packages. Candidates WILL be expected to explain HOW to achieve particular user needs.

Systems Analysis (SA) – similar to the current Systems Analysis & Design module with emphasis on how new systems are developed and including use of DBMS and implications of programming. New system development. Upgrading existing systems. Documentation. Security.

Programming (PR) – Candidates will be expected to have had sufficient practice that they can provide solutions (coding/algorithms) to common needs. Coding will be expected to have a high degree of accurate syntax. The module will include associated programming methods. Traditional programming languages are expected.

Information Processing (IP) – similar to the current Information Processing module, which requires a study of what actually happens inside the processor. It will also include aspects of file theory. Selection of appropriate input/output devices and file systems but details of their physical operations are reserved for the Hardware module.

Networks (NET) – LAN configurations. WAN systems. www including simple HTML. Business uses of networks. Data transfer and formats. E-mailing. Network threats and security.

Hardware & Operating Systems (HOS) – Types of memory, configurations. Fetch-execute cycle. Input/Output devices. Storage, installation. Logic circuits and Boolean algebra. More detailed investigation of operating systems.

Number and Logic (NL) – for those interested in how the computer actually handles data internally. Binary/Octal/Hexadecimal manipulation. How data/programs are held in memory. Numerical methods treated manually by applying to computer systems e.g. optimisation, bulk data handling, iterative methods. Statistics, matrices, number series.

Managing Computer Systems (MCS) – Personnel involved and their jobs, responsibilities and global views. Information. New systems. System security and scheduling.

Programming Project (PP) – Production of a fully documented program to solve a real-world business/administration problem and implemented in a traditional language or a database management system.

Feasibility Study (FS) – Fully documented study into the introduction of a new computer system in business with some centre assessment including an oral presentation of the findings.