English Language A Level

About the Course

English Language at A level introduces the study of English in its various forms and contexts – including how language is affected by power, gender, and technology, how language develops over time, and how children acquire language – with the concepts and methods appropriate for the analysis of language underpinning all elements of the course. Offering clear progression from GCSE, the English Language A level allows students to build on the skills already gained and develop a nuanced understanding of English in all contexts, both written and spoken. The variety of assessment styles used, such as data analysis, discursive essays, directed writing, original writing and research- based investigative writing, allows students to develop a wide range of skills and practices. These include critical reading, data analysis, evaluation, the ability to develop and sustain arguments, and a number of different writing skills, all of which are invaluable for both further study and future employment.

Exam Board

AQA English Language. Examination 80% and non-examination assessment 20%.


Please refer to our Sixth Form prospectus for entry requirements.

Course Content

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society. Students critically respond to texts and explore how meaning is represented and evaluate how children learn a language in its various forms.

Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change. Students evaluate how language is affected according to various sociolinguistic contexts (such as gender, power, and technology), explore 'Language Discourses' - how language ideas are represented in texts - and produce their own opinion article in response to language issues.

Non-exam Assessment: Language in Action. Students select an area of language study that interests them and undertake an independent research project on a topic of their choosing.  They also produce a creative piece and an analytical commentary.

Beyond the Classroom

There will be a number of opportunities to visit universities and experience degree level study, alongside attending workshops in school delivered by visiting lecturers. When possible, students will have the opportunity to visit universities for taster lectures and meet with undergraduate students.  Students will  need to be proactive in reading a variety of different texts outside of lesson to consolidate knowledge and develop critical perspectives.  There will be prescribed reading lists for the students to follow.

Your Future

The course offers a qualification that will support higher education study. It is valued for its own merit but is also a strong option to stand alongside other subjects that develop close analytical and evaluative skills. It is also recommended for the pursuit of teaching in all areas.