Computer Studies

 Department Head - Danny Santarella 
Computer studies is about how computers compute. It is not about learning how to use the computer, and it is much more than computer programming. Computer studies is the study of ways of representing objects and processes. It involves defining problems; analysing problems; designing solutions; and developing, testing, and maintaining programs. For the purposes of this document, the term computer studies refers to the study of computer science, meaning computer and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society. The major focus of these courses is the development of programming skills, which are important for success in future postsecondary studies.
Computer studies is relevant for all students because it incorporates a broad range of transferable problem-solving skills and techniques, including logical thinking, creative design, synthesis, and evaluation. It also teaches generically useful skills in such areas as communication, time management, organization, and teamwork. Students live in a technologically rich world, and computer studies will provide them with the knowledge and skills to understand the underpinnings of current computer technology and prepare them for emerging technologies. A foundation in this discipline will introduce students to the excitement and opportunities afforded by this dynamic field and will begin to prepare them for a range of rewarding careers.
The computer studies program will build a strong foundation for those who wish to move on to further study and training in specialized areas such as computer programming, database analysis, computer science, education, computer engineering, software engineering, information technology, and game development.
The fundamental purpose of the computer studies program is to provide students with knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable them to achieve success in secondary school, the workplace, postsecondary education or training, and daily life.
The goals of the computer studies curriculum are to enable students to:
  • gain an understanding of computer studies concepts;
  • develop the skills, including critical thinking skills, and the knowledge of strategies required to do research, conduct inquiries, and communicate findings accurately, ethically, and effectively;
  • apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired through the study of computers to a variety of learning tasks and relate them to computer phenomena on the local, national, and global levels;
  • develop lifelong learning habits that will help them adapt to computer advances in the changing workplace and world;
  • make connections that will help them take advantage of potential postsecondary educational and work opportunities.
  • The program in computer studies offers a variety of courses to help students develop a deeper understanding of the world of computer science and computer programming, and to help focus their interests in this area.
  • The Grade 10 open course will appeal to any student interested in exploring how computers are used to solve problems. The course provides students with the opportunity to develop the logical thinking processes used in designing computer solutions to problems and to acquire basic computer programming skills that will enable them to create a working computer program.
  • College preparation courses focus on the development of computer programming skills. These courses introduce students to the types of programs offered at community colleges – programs that focus on the practical skills businesses currently demand. Students are given opportunities to use problem-solving strategies and tools to address challenges such as creating custom programs, tailoring existing program packages, and using data- base management systems and scripting languages.
  • University preparation courses provide students with a foundation in the broad spectrum of computer science concepts and applications. In these courses, students explore the theoretical underpinnings of computer science; design software, working independently and as part of a team and using industry-standard programming tools and the software development life-cycle model; and investigate various computer science–related topics, such as cryptography and artificial intelligence. 


  • The computer studies program is designed to enable students to select courses that relate to their interests and that will prepare them for further study or work in the field of their choosing. Computer studies courses are well suited for inclusion in programs that lead to a diploma with a Specialist High Skills Major designation. Whether students eventually work in the computer field or simply use computers, the computer studies program will provide them with a foundation for making informed decisions about their future plans.


​Grade ​Course Name                               ​Course Type           ​Course Code ​Prerequisite                                                                              
​10 ​Intro to Computer Studies Open​ ​ICS20 ​None
​11 ​Intro to Computer Science ​University ​ICS3U ​None
​11 ​Intro to Computer Programming ​College ​ICS3C None
​12 ​Computer Science ​University ​ICS4U ​Grade 11 Intro to Computer Science, University
​12 ​Computer Programming ​College ​ICS4C ​Grade 11 Intro to Computer Programming, College

Note: Each of the courses listed above is worth one credit.  

Prerequisite Chart for Computer Studies, Grades 10-12