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A Level

English Language

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A* = 56




If you are looking to study A-Levels please apply for up to three subjects. Simply add each course to your basket or visit our Apply section.


Do you have an interest in how language is used and develops over time? Are you interested in how language is tailored to different audiences, genres and purposes? Do you want to develop skills in writing effectively and with purpose for a range of different careers from advertising and publishing to legal professions or as a writer? Do you want to understand how people use language differently due to social and cultural factors? If the answer to any of the above is a ‘yes’, then English Language maybe the subject for you!

English Language is the study of language in the world around us. You will learn to analyse how language is structured on a word, clause, and sentence basis and how it is tailored for different purposes including advertisements, social media, and journalism. It equips you with the skills needed to recognise how we are influenced by the opinions of those with different motivations. It also explores how we develop language from an early age and the social and biological factors that influence this and how the language develops over time.

English Language is taught from the AQA board. You will sit a full A Level exam at the end of the second year. There are two examination papers, as well as a Non-Examined Assessment (coursework) that you will complete in the second year this includes a piece of original writing and an investigation. This is worth 20% of the overall grade.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 and above, including and Maths.

A grade 5 in GCSE English Language.

You will study the following units over the two year A Level. Topics taught in year one are iso examined in the second year.

Year 1
In the first year two units are studied:

1. ‘Language and the Individual’: You will explore a range of texts to understand how individuals and social groups are represented. You will also examine how meanings are created through written and spoken language and identify the key linguistic terminology needed to give you a foundation for the English Language course.

2. ‘Language Diversity’: You will consider how and why groups and individuals use language differently. You will examine the impact that identities, such as social class, gender, age and region, have on the way people use language. You will also study how to craft writing for both academic and non-specialist audiences through exploring a range of different articles and essays.

Year 2
In the second year, two further units are taught, plus you will also complete a Non-Examined Assessment (coursework) unit.

3. ‘Language Change’: Here you will study the developments of the English language. You will look at a wide range of historical and contemporary texts and focus on what led to the change of language, whilst considering reaction to these changes.

4. ‘Child Language Acquistion’: In this unit you will explore children development of written and spoken language. You will consider the functions of child language use, key stages of progression of language production and different theories related to child language development.

5. ‘Language in Action’: This unit is the Non-Examined Assessment (coursework) unit which is worth 20% of the overall grade. You will produce a language investigation on an area of interest. This could range from representations of certain social groups in the media to the way masculinity is represented by film characters. The second part of the Non-Examined Assessment requires you to create a piece of original writing and a supplementary commentary to justify your writing choices.

English Language is one of the most transferable A Levels and can be combined with any subject. Popular subject combinations with this subject include Sociology, Law, Film, Media Studies, and Psychology. You can go on to study degrees in English Language, Linguistics, Law, Sociology and Education. Learners who study English Language might be interested in a career in journalism, marketing and sales, education, paediatrics (if combined with the sciences) or any career where writing is important.

There is a wide range of opportunities to further develop your learning. You can join our English Academy which explores contemporary texts to widen your cultural awareness and further develop your skills in writing and analysis. We also offer a Creative Writing Academy and there is an opportunity to take part in national creative writing competitions. The English Department also offer exciting trips to journalism workshops and have offered an accent workshop in the British Library. There are also opportunities to attend talks as part of our Sixth Form Talks series from universities and employers including talks from English Language lecturers and people in the media and marketing industries.

"SGS Sixth was an amazing experience for me. My teachers were always on hand to help with any of my problems and ensure I achieved my maximum potential."

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