Cambridge Nationals in ICT

Leave a comment

From personal computers to smartphones, from apps to websites, all of our lives, every day, are enhanced through the use of ICT. The new OCR Cambridge Nationals in ICT reflect this and provide students with a solid foundation for understanding and applying this subject in their future working lives.

Core ICT

All students have 2 hours per fortnight in years 10 and 11, although students in Pathway X from September 2014 will have this as part of their Welsh Baccalaureate lessons.  Current students in year 9 have started working towards the Cambridge Nationals Award (equivalent to a short course GCSE). They now have the option of progressing towards a Cambridge Nationals Certificate (equivalent to a full course GCSE).  The pathways are explained below.


Course Content

Both the Award and Certificate have two mandatory units.

R001 – Understanding Computer Systems

As the first mandatory unit and a foundation for others, this unit will give students a solid base to develop knowledge and understanding of computer systems and the implications of working with data to enable them to use computers effectively.

The unit will include systems used at home, school and in a business setting. Students will also consider the implications of working with data to create content within a commercial environment. The content includes:

  • An understanding of how ICT can be used to meet business needs
  • How to work with information and data to meet specific business needs
  • How ICT can be used to support business working practices
  • An understanding of the legal, ethical, safety and security issues that affect how computers should be used.

On completion of this unit, students will have gained additional knowledge and understanding, enabling them to use computers more effectively in a variety of different contexts. Their regard for their own personal data security and for the security of the data of others will be increased and they will be more informed users of computers, making them more effective participators in business and social life.


This unit is assessed by a one-hour written paper sat at the end of year 11.  The exam board provide a scenario for the exam which will students will study in class.

This unit is 50% of the Award or 25% of the Certificate.

R002 Using ICT to Create Business Solutions

In the second mandatory unit, students will refine their existing knowledge of computers
to reflect the working practices of the commercial world. This includes using a wide range
of software efficiently.

Students will use a wide range of applications that are commonly used in the workplace and in further and higher education.  They will develop an understanding of how to select the most appropriate software and to use tools to meet specific business requirements while developing skills to enhance documents of a variety of file types.  They will also learn techniques to search for, select and store information in a variety of contexts and how to select the tools and techniques to communicate information and solve problems.  The content will give students the skills to:

  • Use techniques to search for, store and share information
  • Select and use software to handle data
  • Select and use software to communicate information for a business purpose
  • Use software tools to format documents.


This unit is assessed via coursework.  Following a scenario provided by the exam board students will prepare a range of presentations, graphic products, databases, spreadsheets, letters and reports for a particular purpose.

This unit is 50% of the Award or 25% of the Certificate.

Optional Units

During the option lessons students will work on two additional units of the OCR Cambridge Nationals course.  The units will be:

  • Handling Data Using Spreadsheets
  • Creating Digital Images

All units are controlled assessment only.  The theory element of the course which is examined by a written exam is taught in the Core ICT lessons.

Career Opportunities/ Additional Information

The course is intended to be of interest to a wide range of pupils including those intending to follow a higher education course or career in Information and Communication Technology. Those with other interests and aspirations can also benefit from the many transferable skills inherent in the study of ICT.

Leave a Reply