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A Level English Language

A Level English Language

A Level English Language: a world away from GCSE!

Exam Board


Why should I study English?

English Language focuses on the study of English in its broadest sense. It analyses how people use language in a wide range of real-life written, digital and spoken contexts, as well as exploring bigger questions to do with our attitudes to language and the role of language in society. Alongside this, students are given opportunities to develop their own writing skills in a range of formats, as well as conducting their own language investigations.

  • Are you fascinated by language and grammar?
  • Are you curious about language and gender, technology and power?
  • Are you keen to discover how children learn language so quickly?
  • Do you ever wonder why – or if – accent and dialect matter?


If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then you will find this is the subject for you!

English Language is a captivating area of study with so much variety that there is truly something for everyone! It develops many skills valued by employers and universities and enables you to:

  • develop skills of linguistic analysis and evaluation
  • explore language usage in a wide variety of situations and social contexts
  • respond to written, spoken and electronic texts
  • study child language acquisition and language change


Learning more about the way language is used in everyday interactions will empower you to communicate more effectively with those around you, whatever you do in the future.

What will I study?

The key areas of study include:

  • studying a range of texts, both contemporary and historical, to see how text producers have used language to achieve their aims and suit their audiences.
  • exploring how children learn to speak and write, using theory and data.
  • analysing a wide range of varieties of English – including accents and dialects, genderlects, world Englishes, occupational jargon…. This will involve consideration of how and why language varies, as well as how this can lead to discrimination and prejudice
  • studying how English has developed across time and what factors have driven these developments, as well as scrutinising attitudes to change
  • developing your own writing skills in a range of styles
  • conducting your own investigation into an aspect of language, choosing an area that interests you, collecting data and analysing how language is being used and why


How is A Level English assessed?

A-Level English Language is assessed via two examinations at the end of Year 13 (80% of your final grade), and a piece of coursework (20% of your final grade). The coursework consists of a portfolio containing a piece of original writing with a commentary explaining your language choices and a language investigation of your choice.

What can I study with English language?

A-Level English Language is a brilliant ‘mixer’, since it complements many other subjects, as well as being a fantastic area of study in its own right. It obviously can be studied alongside English literature and film studies, as well as other humanities and social science subjects. However, it works equally well with sports or health and social care, as well as the sciences or business and IT. It is a subject that attracts a variety of students with a wide range of career plans.

Where does a qualification in English langauge lead?

English Language is a traditional A-Level, highly respected by universities, apprenticeship providers and other employers. It is a perfect choice for those planning a career where linguistic skills are valued. It is ideal for those aiming to pursue higher education courses in English, journalism, law, psychology and the humanities.

Subject specific entry requirement:

Grades 6 in English language