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English Language A Level

AS/A Level English Language

Entry Requirements

To study this subject students need to have the equivalent of Grade B or higher at GCSE English Language. It would be a mistake to assume that the study of English Language at A level will be similar to what you have experienced at GCSE; the course is significantly more challenging and rewarding than the English language GCSE. You should bear in mind that:

  • some of the texts and sources you study will be challenging. You will need to persevere, embark on some independent reading and research to find areas of your own interest

  • the materials will be varied: you will encounter myriad sources of communication including the spoken word as well as traditional and modern written forms

  • you will be expected to have an open-minded approach because there will definitely be some controversial issues for debate!

  • there will be regular written assignments and you will be expected to meet deadlines

  • you can expect lots of group work and shared learning.

You should enjoy discussion and also have good analytical writing skills, although these will hone over the course. Obviously you should enjoy reading for its own sake – literature, archive materials, media texts, non-fiction, spoken transcripts and the language of new technologies.


This qualification is linear. At AS level you will study two modules: Language and the Individual plus Language Varieties and sit two 2 hour examinations (50% each). There is no coursework in Year 12.

For A2, you will complete a further three units: two 2 hour and 30 minute examinations - Language, the Individual and Society and Language Diversity and Change (80%). A coursework folder that includes an investigation and original writing (20%).

General Information about the Course

Once you have studied A level English language, you will never again ‘take for granted’ the rich and diverse nature of the way that we communicate – both in writing and when we speak. 

Have you ever thought about how the English language has developed over time and what other languages have influenced it? Do you like words, have favourite ones and if so why? Is there a right and wrong way to speak and write? What is netiquette? Does gender affect language in any way? These stimulating questions all relate to areas of this fascinating course.

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