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English Language

Subject leader and contact

Lucy Macwhinnie


A Level English Language

AQA - 7702

Entry Requirements

6 in GCSE Language or Literature

Why study English Language?

Have you ever wondered how we learn to talk? Why we don’t talk to our grandparents the way we talk to our friends? Or maybe you're curious about how language has changed over the years? If any of that sounds interesting, then A-level English Language could be just what you're looking for.

English Language is a big part of our everyday lives, from how we act in social groups to how we communicate with the world. We're constantly communicating, listening, reading websites, and analysing -That's what makes studying English Language relevant.

This course will introduce you to a wide selection of multimodal texts that you might not have analysed in your English lessons before, including blogs, television transcripts and tweets. It will also provide opportunities to write originally and persuasively, do your own research, and read critically. 

Ultimately, studying this A- Level can empower you with valuable skills, knowledge, and perspectives that are applicable in various academic, professional, and personal pursuits. It provides a strong foundation for further education and equips you with skills that are highly sought after in today's dynamic and globalised world.

Where can it lead?

With an A-level in English Language, you can pursue a degree in various fields such as English Language and Linguistics, Creative Writing, Journalism, Media Studies, Communications, or English Literature.  
This qualification also equips you with strong writing skills, critical thinking abilities, and an understanding of language dynamics. These qualities make you well-suited for careers in writing, journalism, publishing, marketing, public relations, teaching, and more.  

English Language Extras

You will have the opportunity to visit the British Library and we will also make use of relevant exhibitions and opportunities as they arise.

Course Content

Paper 1 (40% of A-level)
  • Section A: Textual Variations and Representations (70 marks) This area of study introduces students to methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation, which help us understand how texts are shaped.
  • Section B: Children’s Language Development (30 marks) Students will explore how children develop their spoken and written skills by looking at different genres of speech and writing, theories and research about language development and the functions of children’s language.
Paper 2 (40% of A-level)
  • Section A: Diversity and Change (30 marks). Students will explore how and why language varies because of personal, social and geographical contexts, they will also explore attitudes to language variation and how language has changed over time.
  • Section B: Language Discourses (70 marks). This area of study explores how texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions and explores themes of Language and Power and Language and Technology.
NEA- Coursework Component (20% of A-level)
The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise. It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research:
Construct a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data) Students may choose to pursue an area of individual interest. For example, this might include studies of:
  • representations of different individuals, social groups or nationalities
  • regional dialect
  • gendered talk
  • the language of new communication technologies
  • children’s language use
  • norms and variations in usages of different kinds
  • the language of the media
  • code switching and mixing between English and other languages
  • the language of different occupations or pastimes
  • historical changes in English over time.
Construct a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each) Examples of pieces of writing students could consider:
  • a piece of investigative journalism
  • a speech delivered on a controversial topic
  • a letter to an MP.
  • a short story
  • an extract from a biography
  • a dramatic monologue.
  • a piece of travel journalism
  • a blog focusing on social issues
  • a piece of local history.