English Language

This highly engaging and innovative course explores the many fascinating aspects of English Language – the words we use, hear and read every day. You will explore and critically engage with a wide range of spoken and written texts. You will learn how language, society and identity intersect through a study of topical language issues such as Language and Power and Language and Gender. You will also explore the fascinating ways in which the English language has developed over time and how we acquire language when we are children.

What skills will I develop?

You will develop your reading skills, in particular your ability to discern implied meanings in spoken and written texts.

You will develop your skills of critical and comparative analysis, exploring how meanings and ideas are created in texts.

You will learn more sophisticated ways of writing, both analytically and creatively.

Ultimately, you will therefore be able to think critically about how language is used and manipulated by those around you, as well as using it skilfully yourself.

What topics will I study?

Component 1 - Examination: Exploring Language (2 hours, 30 minutes - 40%)

  • Section A:  Analysing language choices in a range of texts and genres in relation to context.
  • Section B:  Writing about a topical language issue.
  • Section C:  Comparing and contrasting texts from different modes of communication.

Component 2 - Examination: Dimensions of Linguistic Variation (2 hours, 30 minutes - 40%)

  • Section A:  Child language acquisition.
  • Section B:  Language in the media.
  • Section C:  Language change.

Component 3 - Non-examined Assessment: Independent Language Research (Folder of 3000 words - 20%)

  • Section A:  An independent investigation into Language and Gender (2000-2500 words).
  • Section B:  An academic poster about the investigation (750-1000 words).

Where does the course lead?

There are excellent English Language or Linguistics degree courses for which this course is ideal. You can also apply for a combined honours degree with Literature. It is worth noting, though, that if you are applying for an “English” or “English Literature” degree, an A Level in English Literature is usually required. It is possible to study English Language and English Literature as separate A Levels.

English Language is a very flexible subject and fits wonderfully with other A Levels, including those in Arts, Humanities, MFL and Sciences.

There are many careers – direct and indirect – which may follow from the study of English Language: Journalism, Linguistics, Publishing, Advertising, Politics, Media, Teaching, Public Relations, Law and Business are just a few possibilities.

Exam Board


Head of Department

Richard Vardy

Entry Requirements

Five grades 4-9 (or equivalent) including at least a grade 4 in English Language

Assessment Breakdown

Coursework = 20%, Examination = 80%