Exam results 2023: highlights for computing

24 August 2023

This year’s GCSE and A level exam results have now been revealed with some highs and lows reported throughout. There are, however, some real positives in the world of computing and computer science to celebrate.

2023 Results

  • This year saw a surge in popularity for computing as an A level choice, with entries growing the most of any subject – 16.7% – from 15,693 in 2022, to 18,306 this year.
  • At GCSE, there has also been a large percentage increase with an 11.6% rise in entries – from 81,120 in 2022 to 90,558 this year
  • Record numbers of young people are applying to study computing at university, with an 11% growth in the number of 18-year-old UK women due to start at university, compared to last year
“The continued growth of computer science as a study choice for young people is extremely encouraging - not just in schools but in universities too. The value of computer science to those studying it is immense, opening up a world of opportunity. We're working hard to make these opportunities available to all young people.” Dave Gibbs, Education Strategy Lead at STEM Learning.

With more students choosing to study computing, it is now more important than ever to ensure we have teachers equipped to support them in acquiring knowledge to progress into fulfilling careers in the world of computer science.

Gaining the NCCE Subject Knowledge Certificate is the ideal first step for both current and aspiring computing teachers to upskill and improve their knowledge of the subject. It supports teachers’ ambitions and helps them stay ahead of the curve – which is key for such a fast-developing industry.

“Teaching computing can be hard – to get inside the understanding of the pupils and to support their learning. So, what we need is a good strong team of computing teachers in our schools who are experts in the subject and experts in the teaching of the subject. So that our students can thrive and go on to be amongst the leaders of those areas.” Dr Robin Bevan, Headteacher, Southend High School for Boys

Girls remain underrepresented in computer science

Yet, girls remain heavily underrepresented in the subject, making up just one in five entries at GCSE and 15% of entrants at A level.  To help tackle this gender imbalance, we are launching a new initiative called ‘I Belong’, an evidence-based programme that aims to support more girls to pursue computer science qualifications and careers, by equipping teachers to support them.

“Not enough girls study computer science, holding them back from rewarding technology careers. At the National Centre for Computing Education, we are on a mission to change that.
The 'I Belong' programme will provide teachers with the knowledge and tools to support girls to benefit from the same opportunities that many boys currently take up in the subject." Steve Clarke, National Centre for Computing Education Programme Manager

A full list of the 2023 results for GCSE and A level is available on the Joint Council for Qualifications website.