English Language

A Level English Language is a Linear course, We help students achieve skills developed by the course to encourage you to deepen your interest and enjoyment in the use of English as you:

  • Develop and apply your understanding of the concepts and methods appropriate for the analysis and study of language
  • Undertake independent investigative work related to language in use
  • Engage creatively and independently with a varied programme for the study of English from the past to the present day
  • Develop your skills as producers and interpreters of language

Course Content

Paper 1 - Language, the Individual and Society

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

100 marks

40% of A-level

What’s assessed

  • Textual variations and representations
  • Children’s language development (0-11 years)

Section A – Textual Variations and Representations

Two texts (one contemporary and one older text) linked by topic or theme.

  • A question requiring analysis of one text

  • A question requiring analysis of a second text
  • A question requiring comparison of the two texts

Section B – Children’s Language Development

A discursive essay on children’s language development, with a choice of two questions where the data provided will focus on spoken, written or multimodal language (30 marks) Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Paper 2 - Language Diversity and Change


Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

100 marks

40% of A-level

What’s assessed

  • Language diversity and change

  • Language discourses
  • Writing skills
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities

Section A – Diversity and Change

One question from a choice of two:

Either: an evaluative essay on language diversity

Or: an evaluative essay on language change


Section B – Language Discourses

Two texts about a topic linked to the study of diversity and change.

  • A question requiring analysis of how the texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions

  • A directed writing task linked to the same topic and the ideas in the texts



Non-exam assessment: Language in Action

Exam Board: AQA

100 marks

20% of A-level

What’s assessed

  • Language Investigation
  • Original Writing
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities


  • A language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
  • A piece of original writing and commentary (1,500 words total)

Enrichment Opportunities

  • Creative writing workshop
  • Emagazine Language Conference
  • British Library exhibition workshops
  • Sounds Familiar and Exploring texts workshops at British Library


Students are assessed in school using exam questions, knowledge and understanding tests language levels, group research and presentation activities as well as regular homework tasks.

Students sit two exams at the end of Year 13 and submit one component of coursework.

English Literature

Exam Board: AQA A Level

English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received, and understood. Studying texts within a shared context enables students to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives.

Course Content

Paper One: Love through the ages

Duration: 3 Hours

40% Of A Level / 75 Marks

Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Examination will include two unseen poems.


Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based question with linked essay


Section B: Unseen poetry: compulsory essay question on two unseen poems

Section C: Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts

  • Anthology of Love Poetry through the Ages: Pre-1900
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby


Paper Two: Texts in shared contexts

Duration: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

40% Of A Level / 75 Marks

Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day.


Examination will include an unseen prose extract


Section A: Set texts. One essay question on set text

  • Poetry: Carol Ann Duffy – Feminine Gospel (post 2000)


Section B: Contextual linking

  • One compulsory question on an unseen extract
  • One essay question linking two texts
  • Drama: Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Prose: Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale


Non-exam assessment (NEA): Independent critical study: texts across time

Assessed by teachers

Moderated by AQA

20% Of A Level / 50 Marks

  • Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900
  • One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography

Enrichment Opportunities

  • Regular theatre trips to a range of productions
  • Creative writing workshop
  • University taster days
  • Additional programme of lectures to support the unseen paper