English Language and Literature

A / AS Level
2 years

What is English Language and Literature?

The course will allow you to discover the ways in which writers use language to inform, persuade and entertain their audiences, before giving you the opportunity to put this into practice in your own creative pieces.

You will study, analyse and compare a number of different texts for the AS course, such as ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Coleridge together with the films ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and novels by  Ian McEwan or Evelyn Waugh.  In the second year, you will study and produce satirical writing and then compare a play by Shakespeare with a play by the modern playwright Tom Stoppard.  Some of these texts will be non-literary, and some will be spoken so you can explore how we convey ideas through speech as well as writing.

Is English Language and Literature suitable for me?

This course is suitable for you if you enjoy reading and analysing texts, ranging from historical literature to blogs. You will also have an interest in, and enjoy writing for various audiences and purposes as well as recreating different forms and styles of writing.

How will I learn?

Lessons will be varied but will primarily be centred on the core areas of analysis and creative writing.

Lesson content may include:

  • experimentation with different writing styles, ranging from short stories to newspaper articles and advertisements
  • comparing real spoken texts with the imitation of speech in literature
  • small group or whole group analysis of texts
  • the discussion of literary themes and ‘voices’
  • discovering and analysing the differences between speech and writing
  • transcribing spoken conversations, real and recorded
  • creating a range of productions using electronic, paper-based or film media

How will I be assessed?

Coursework: Year 1: 20% overall (40% of AS); Year 2: 20% overall (40% of A2)

AS Level

One exam, critically analysing and comparing texts, plus a creative coursework unit demonstrating knowledge of audience, purpose, form and genre.

A2 Level

One exam, analysing slightly more complex texts, plus a creative coursework element involving the imitation of a specific form or style and a commentary.


English Language and Literature is a recognised and respected AS/A2 qualification, which demonstrates clear understanding of different writing styles. It is, therefore, a useful and worthy qualification in terms of the progression to university and/or a career.

Entry requirements

Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 – 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels. You can check your likely GCSE point score by going to 'Choosing the Right Course' on the website and entering your predicted grades.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own stationery, memory cards/disks and the literary texts being studied. It is helpful to attend theatre trips, but these are not compulsory.

Essential: £15.00 for literary texts.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Course Code