English Language and Literature

A Level
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Stephanie Richardson

What is English Language and Literature?

The course will allow you to discover the ways in which writers use language to inform, persuade, entertain and create meaning, 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 course, such as broadcast interviews, sports commentaries, speeches and memoirs along with more traditional literary texts including modern playwrights, poets such as Philip Larkin, and novels such as The Great Gatsby. You will also complete a coursework assessment which will allow you to write both fiction and non-fiction.

You will learn how language works on different levels making connections in texts from all genres, 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

How will I be assessed?

Examination: 80% - exam questions totaling 6 hours. You will be asked to respond to unseen texts and texts from the genres of poetry, drama, prose and non-fiction texts which you have studied on the course.

Non-examination assessment: 20% this component includes your own creative writing.


English Language and Literature is a recognised and respected A Level 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 should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. You must have achieved at least a Grade 5 in GCSE English. 

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.