English Language A level
Exam Board - AQA
What is English Language and why study it?
With over 330 million native speakers of English and 810 million who speak it as a second language, the English language remains, and will continue to remain for some time to come, an incredibly powerful resource for those who truly know how to use it.
By exploring how the English language has evolved, and how specific groups of people have come to use it, the English Language A level will equip you not only with the skills to identify how others are using language to influence you, but also how you can use language to influence others, whether that's for your own benefit, or for society's.
As a result, it's a subject that anyone who is thinking of a career in business, marketing, politics, law, journalism, or even activism may well wish to consider, as well as those wanting to work with children or local communities. It also has a scientific and psychological focus too – requiring you to carry out your own language investigation, including the collection and analysis of data – that may appeal to students interested in pursuing careers in medicine or therapy.
The course covers a broad range of topics. You'll study how children learn to speak English, and how they learn to write it. You'll discover how the English language works, and how and why this has changed both over time and from place to place. You'll explore how and why people change the way they communicate according to their context and compare how writers explore very similar ideas in very different ways. You'll be introduced to various debates about whether English is changing for the better or for the worse, and how it can be used to oppress or liberate groups of people who are linked by race, religion, gender or even wealth. And by studying all these things you’ll have numerous opportunities to grow your skills as a writer of a variety of different genres.
Along the way, you will develop various transferable skills, including the ability to:
- produce original and impactful writing (fiction/non-fiction/both)
- design and conduct independent research, including data collection and analysis
- write analytical essays (even science degrees have entirely essay-based exams)
English Language is seen as an incredibly valuable subject for anyone considering careers in politics, law, languages, journalism, activism, psychology, therapy, and teaching. It is also great preparation for anyone considering a career in PR/marketing in either the public/private sector.
What are the entrance requirements?
Grade 6 in GCSE English language and Grade 6 in GCSE English literature.
Who do I need to see for more information?
Ms R Rudd, Head of English or Mr J Holt, KS5 Lead Teacher of English