English Language

The study of English Language allows you to explore and discover a wide range of methods people use to communicate. It helps us to understand others better, as well as understanding when and how people are attempting to influence us with their language.

Course Type

AS and A Level

Entry requirements

  • Level 6 in GCSE English Language
  • Level 5 in GCSE English Literature

Course breakdown

In Year 12, you will study a range of topics, including:

  • Language and power
  • Language and gender
  • Language and occupation
  • Regional varieties of English
  • Close analysis of language use

In Year 13, you will build on your first year of study, exploring more advanced topics including:

  • Child language development (how children learn to speak, read and write)
  • How English has changed over hundreds of years

You will also complete a piece of coursework that includes some original writing and an investigation into something you find interesting.

How will the course be assessed?

At the end of Year 12, you will be entered for the AS level in English Language. This will assess the content and skills covered in the first year of study.

  • Exam: Language and the Individual – 1.5 hours – 50% of AS level
  • Exam: Language Varieties – 1.5 hours – 50% of AS level

At the end of Year 13, you will be entered for the A level in English Language. This will assess the content and skills covered in both years of study.

  • Exam: Language, the Individual and Society – 2.5 hours – 40% of A level
  • Exam: Language Diversity and Change – 2.5 hours – 40% of A level
  • Coursework: Language in Action – 20% of A level

Note that this is a reformed A level. This means that the grades obtained for the AS level do not contribute to the final A level grade.

Where can the course lead?

English Language is useful for a wide range of career options and further study as it deals with communication, which is essential in the vast majority of job roles. However, it is especially useful if you are thinking of careers in primary education, journalism, the media, advertising and law.