That Blue Square Thing

Syllabus content:
PDF iconUnit 5 content – PDF doc to download
Note: this syllabus content is a slightly amended version of the one published freely on the web by AQA. I have made very minor adjustments to remove some content less suitable for students to use and it is presented here simply to allow the children I teach to download a usable copy of the syllabus content. It is copyright AQA and reproduced here simply to make access easier for students. No attempt to claim copyright is being made, although I could have copied the text into my own interpretation...

AQA Computer Science GCSE

This page is up to date for the AQA 8525 syllabus for exams from 2022.


Modern computer systems almost always work as a part of a network of devices.

This can be true even of a simple standalone machine – if it's connected to a printer or scanner, for example, it's part of a network. If it's connected to the internet then it's certainly part of an incredibly powerful network.

Networks are everywhere:

School networks connect devices together throughout a site. They allow you, usually, to move from machine to machine and pick up your work, access printers and other resources and generally make things a lot easier.
I remember teaching in computer rooms which didn't do this: you had to physically take your work with you from machine to machine (using floppy disks) and it was only possible to print from one machine. Nothing was connected to the internet and software had to be installed one each machine separately.

There are three main parts of the syllabus here:

  1. Network basics - definitions and types of networks
  2. Network protocols
  3. Network security

There are quite a lot of key terms to learn in this unit, but none of it's all that complex. There are links to units 6 and 8 which deal more with security.