Unit 4 – Software Design and Development

In this unit, Learners study the knowledge and skills involved in thedesign, creation and evaluation of software using Python (3.4 or a later version) or C family programming languages.

Unit introduction

In the computing industry there is a demand for computing professionals who can decompose complex problems and develop appropriate solutions. Problem-solving skills are essential for a software developer, as software design and development problems often require complex solutions in order to create robust software that is fit for purpose.

In this unit, you will explore the skills necessary to design and create software. You will explore standard conventions and ways of working to create solutions to problems. You will examine a given scenario and develop effective design solutions to produce software. Finally, you will evaluate each stage of the development process and the effectiveness of your software solution. To complete the assessment task within this unit, you will need to draw on your learning from across your programme.

These skills are required for progression to computing-related higher education courses or to the workplace as a computing professional.

Summary of assessment

This unit is assessed through a task set and marked by Pearson.

The set task will be completed under supervised conditions for a maximum of six hours in a one-week period set by Pearson which can be arranged over a number of sessions.
The set task will assess learners’ ability to design, create and evaluate software using Python (3.4 or a later version) or one of the C family programing languages.
The number of marks for the unit is 68. The assessment availability is December/January and May/June each year.
The first assessment availability is May/June 2018. Sample assessment materials will be available to help centres prepare learners for assessment.

Assessment outcomes

AO1  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of computer coding paradigms and the software development life cycle

AO2  Apply knowledge and understanding of computer coding paradigms and the software development life cycle to design and create a software product to meet a client brief

AO3  Analyse information about computing problems and data from test results to optimise the performance of a software solution throughout the development life cycle

AO4  Evaluate evidence to make informed judgements about the success of a software product’s design and performance

AO5  Be able to develop a software solution to meet a client brief with appropriate justification

Essential Content

L.O. A – Software Development Lifecycle       

        A1 – Stages of software development
L.O. B – Standard methods and techniques to develop designed solutions

       B1 –  Flow chart and use of standard symbol conventions

       B2 – Structured English (pseudocode)
       B3 – Test data

L.O. C –  Software design considerations
       C1 – Design concepts
       C2 – Code Readability
L.O. D –  Programming paradigms
       D1 – Handling data in a program
       D2 – Arithmetic operations
       D3 – Built-in functions
       D4 – Validating data
       D5 – Control structures
       D6 – Data structures
L.O. E –  Software design considerations
       E1 – Evaluation of design
       E2 – Evaluation of software testing
       E3 – Evaluation of the software

Click here for detailed content structure.

Click here for a presentation supporting the learning of the above content.