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What Will I Study?

English Language involves the study of linguistics rather than literature. It contains only a small amount of creative writing. At the heart of the course is the analysis of written and spoken language texts. There are no set texts. There are four Components ( 3 exams/1 coursework = 80%/20%) to the A-level:

  1. Language Concepts and Issues – this involves developing your knowledge of language features and lingusitic terminology, so that you can analyse a range of written and spoken language material
  2. Language Change over Time – you will study the way language has changed and developed over the centuries and how language is being used in the age of the internet
  3. Creative and Critical Use of Language – developing your own creative writing skills for both literary and non-literary genres and learning to analyse your own writing
  4. Language and Identity – this is the coursework component and involves the production of an extended investigation into a topic of your own choice (with guidance from staff), which explores areas such as the relationship between language and gender, culture or diversity in society

More Info

You will be introduced to a range of short textual material  – both written and spoken – and develop the skills to analyse these, using linguistic terminology. We aim to provide a varied range of learning activities from watching stand-up comedy to reading extracts from novels. There will be small group work, whole class discussion and individual tasks. You will learn to apply linguistic terms, develop knowledge of phonetics and child language acquisition and practise new skills such as transcribing spoken language into written forms. Classes will involve, in addition to some direct teaching of new linguistic concepts and terms: presentations, listening to and making recordings, quizzes, group and individual research tasks, watching television and film excerpts and, of course, reading texts and analysing them.

  1. Language Concepts and Issues Exam 2 hrs 30%
  2. Language Change over Time Exam 2 hrs 15 mins 30%
  3. Creative and Critical Use of Language Exam 1 hour 45 mins 20%
  4. Language and Identity Coursework 20%

Many of our students go on from this course to study English courses at University, these include combination course of Language and Literature, English Literature, American Literature and Film Studies. English is a also course that allows for a wide range of Joint Honours options at University, this is where English is combined with another subject to create a dual degree programme, for example:

  • English and Drama
  • English and History
  • English and Philosophy
  • English and Music
  • English and Creative Writing

After University, the options available to English graduates are vast:

  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Public Relations
  • The Civil Service
  • Teaching

are some of the more traditional routes linked to an English degree.

  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Events Management
  • Law Conversions
  • Media Production

are other common destinations for those with English qualifications.

Linguistic talk at University of the West of England, Bristol

Guest tutor in creative writing

Small costs for course handbooks/textual resources

English Language at grade 5.

Key Facts

Offered As

A Level

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Awarding Body


You may study English Literature A Level at the same time but you cannot choose English Language and Literature (the combined course).

You can study English at University but you are only really equipped to do courses that are predominantly language-based, such as Linguistics. If you want to study literature at University, you should take English Literature A Level.

Your writing will either be production work (you write a review of a film, for instance, with a commentary on your own writing) or analysis (you analyse how language is used in an advertisement, for instance). You will do an assignment every two weeks.

Progression and Career Opportunities

A fifth of graduates go on to further study, almost a third of whom are studying towards a teacher training qualification and a quarter continue to study English.

Career Opportunities:

  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Public Relations
  • The Civil Service
  • Teaching
  • Copywriter

Higher Education 48%

Employment/apprenticeships 27%


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