Computer Science Accelerator Programme

The Computer Science Accelerator Programme from the National Centre for Computing Education is designed to support teachers of GCSE computing or computer science.  Computing lesson

The Computer Science Accelerator Programme is designed to give you increased confidence across the whole GCSE computer science curriculum. Whether you are already teaching at this level, or have plans to do so, this highly personalised professional development programme can help you identify and remedy any gaps in your knowledge. 

On successful completion, you will be awarded by BCS with a highly prestigious National Centre for Computing Education Certificate in GCSE Computer Science.

We have made it easy for you to engage with the programme. Access to all the CPD is free and bursaries are available that will meet the costs of supply cover, helping you to complete the full programme. There are additional early adopter bursaries available for a limited period. 

See FAQs for further details about bursaries.


Face-to-face CPD 

You can choose from a range of face-to-face CPD to suit your needs, at a location near to you. Each face-to-face CPD lasts two days. 

  • Python Programming

    The level of programming skill required for GCSE may seem daunting to those without a programming background. This professional development aims to take you from novice programmer to competent teacher of Python programming.

    Find out more and book online

  • Algorithms

    An understanding of algorithms is fundamental to success in computer science. To reach their full potential, students of GCSE computer science need to be confident in using decomposition and abstraction to solve problems. This course centres on the core search and sort algorithms; exploring how they manipulate data.

    Find out more and book online

  • Data and computer systems

    Computer programs are written in a language that humans understand, but what about the computer itself? Every piece of software and the instructions and data it contains is made up of 1’s and 0’s pushed around the parts of a computer system. This course opens the box, looking at the components of a computer.

    Find out more and book online

  • Networks and cybersecurity

    Networked computers and cybersecurity issues are the focus of this professional development. Gain comprehensive knowledge of the hardware and software systems that comprise networks, including the globally connected systems forming the internet. We will demystify the numerous protocols, network topologies and key applications used for data transfer between computers.

    Find out more and book online

By clicking on these links you will be taken to the STEM Learning website where bookings for this CPD are currently being taken.


Online CPD

Hosted by FutureLearn, you can choose from a range of online CPD. Courses available online now:

How does it work?

To complete the programme and secure your nationally recognised certificate, you will need to complete 40 hours of CPD, which should include at least two face-to-face courses. Following this, you will take a short test – you will have the opportunity to re-take the test should you wish to do so.

To take full advantage of the financial support available:

  1. Book and attend at least two face-to-face courses, at a location convenient for you.
  2. Participate in at least two online courses.
  3. Complete a short subject knowledge test. After this, you will receive a bursary to compensate the time you’ve taken to complete the programme. 

We anticipate it will take no more than four-six months to complete the programme

If you are eligible for a bursary, this will be paid in stages after completion of each of the two face-to-face CPD activities, with a third payment after sitting the final test. 


  • How much does it cost?
    *Participation in the programme and its all its CPD (both face-to-face and online) is free to secondary teachers of computing or computer science, in an English state maintained or state-funded school. There is a fee for independent schools, please refer to CPD booking for relevant fees.

    Can I get a bursary?
    Yes, if you are a secondary teacher of  computing or computer science, in an English state maintained or state-funded school. The bursaries contribute towards costs for supply cover, helping you to attend the CPD and allocate the necessary study time.

    If you are eligible you will receive:

    • £220 per day (£440 per course) up to a maximum of £880, payable after successful completion of each face-to-face CPD activity
    • an early adopter bursary of £870 for completion of online CPD and final test by the 31 July 2019, payable on completion of the programme

    Bursaries exist to support you through 40 hours of CPD to complete the CS Accelerator programme. If you don’t complete the programme, we reserve the right to reclaim any bursaries paid.

    What’s the catch? 
    There isn’t one! Just complete the programme and keep us updated with progress. We'll help you along the way to certification.

    What’s next after I complete this? 
    Once you have successfully completed the programme, you will receive a nationally recognised certificate. This also provides a pathway to chartered status should you wish to pursue this further. 

  • National Centre for Computing Education

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