Classification of programming languages

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Data types


Programming concepts


Arithmetic operations


Relational operations


Boolean operations


Data structures


Input/output and file handling


String handling operations


Random number generation




Structured programming


Robust and secure programming


Classification of programming languages


Syllabus content

Content   Additional Information
Know that there are different levels of programming language: • low-level language • high-level language. Explain the main differences between low-level and high-level languages.   Students should understand that most computer programs are written in high-level languages and be able to explain why this is the case.
Know that machine code and assembly language are considered to be low-level languages and explain the differences between them.   Understand that processors execute machine code and that each type of processor has its own specific machine code instruction set. Understand that assembly language is often used to develop software for embedded systems and for controlling specific hardware components. Understand that assembly language has a 1:1 correspondence with machine code.
Understand that ultimately all programming code written in high-level or assembly languages must be translated into machine code. Understand that machine code is expressed in binary and is specific to a processor or family of processors.    
Understand the advantages and disadvantages of low-level language programming compared with high-level language programming    

Understand that there are three common types of program translator:

  • • interpreter
  • • compiler
  • • assembler.

Explain the main differences between these three types of translator. Understand when it would be appropriate to use each type of translator



Classification of programming languages

Classification of programming languages

Classification of programming languages.



3.1 Fundamentals of algorithms

3.2 Programming

3.3 Fundamentals of data representation

3.4 Computer systems

3.5 Fundamentals of computer networks

3.6 Fundamentals of cyber security

3.7 Ethical, legal and environmental impacts of digital technology on wider society, including issues of privacy

3.8 Aspects of software development

Glossary and other links

Glossary of computing terms.

AQA 8520: The 2016 syllabus

AQA pseudocode guide