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English Language and Literature AS / A Level

AS/A level English language and literature is a course that looks at the purpose and the effect of all sorts of written and spoken language in a variety of situations. You will learn how to describe how language works and will extend this study to works of literature, in both years. There are opportunities for writing in a variety of formats as well as the academic essay and a major focus of the course is upon the choices of language and form that you and other writers make.

Exam Board: OCR

STARTS IN SEPTEMBER

  • What will I study and learn?

    This exciting new course developed in partnership with the English and Media Centre will encourage you to develop your interest in, and enjoyment of, English. You will develop and apply your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation. You will read and interpret a wide range of both literary and non-fiction texts, including spoken word scripts, comedy and biography. This course has a strong emphasis on your own creative writing.


    At AS Level you will study 2 components:

    • Component 1: Non-Fiction Written and Spoken Texts
      You will focus on an OCR (EMC) anthology of spoken and written texts across different time periods and contexts.
    • Component 2: The Language of Literary Texts
      You will focus on exploring the nature of narrative in one prose fiction text from a choice of six and exploring the poet’s use of language and techniques in one poetry text from a choice of six.

    For the full A Level, you will build on the skills learnt at AS over Four Components, extending your literary and linguistic skills.

    • Component 1: Exploring Non-Fiction and Spoken Texts
      You will extend your focus on the OCR (EMC) anthology of 20 non-fiction spoken and written texts across different time periods and contexts. You will complete comparative and contextual study based on the anthology and unseen texts.
    • Component 2: The Language of Poetry and Plays
      You will focus on the same poetry collection and one new drama text from a choice of six. You will explore the texts through stylistic and dramatic analysis.
    • Component 3: Reading as a Writer, Writing as a Reader
      You will extend your focus on the nature of narrative in your AS prose fiction text. You will write as a reader and develop the understanding of narrative technique through a creative writing task (500 words) and a commentary (250 words).
    • Component 4: Non-Examined Unit, Analysing and Producing Texts
      Independent study allows you to pursue particular interests and develop your expertise through an analytical comparative essay on a set text from a list of 12 non-fiction texts and a second free choice text. One text will be post-2000. You will also produce a piece of original non-fiction writing.
  • How is the course assessed?

    The full A Level course will be assessed through exams (80%) and coursework (20%). The AS is 100% exams.
    Exam board: OCR

  • What courses would combine well with this course?

    Because of both the academic and practical nature of English, it is a subject that combines well with any other subject right across the curriculum. It teaches the ability to read intelligently, to be aware of the purpose and audience for any piece of communication and to write effectively in many given situations - all skills that are widely applicable. It will complement other text based subjects such as AS/A Level Sociology or History and the focus on language makes it an obvious choice alongside Modern Languages. Writing in a variety of practical situations would also complement business subjects, as well as AS/A Psychology. Equally, the imaginative and expressive qualities of English can provide an enjoyable contrast to science and maths subjects for a balanced programme.

  • What skills will I need for the course?

    You will need three main skills. The first is an ability to research and read attentively and an openness and curiosity about the language being used. You will also need the discipline to learn some grammar and ideas about writing and speech and to apply them, so that you actually look at language and literature as something to be investigated. Thirdly, you will need an ability to write clear and accurate English and a desire to develop your own writing so that you can call upon your skill to operate effectively in a number of different writing tasks.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    You will need an average of 5 for this course including GCSE English Language and English Literature at grade 5.

    Points calculation

    The average points score for entry to an A Level programme will be calculated using your 8 best GCSEs OR 6 GCSEs plus 1 technical qualification (equivalent to a maximum of 2 GCSEs and 10 points).

    From 2017 English Language, English Literature and Mathematics GCSE will be graded numerically (1 – 9. Grade 5 = a good grade C, grade 6 = grade B and grade 7 = grade A).

    To work out your average and find out more information, please see our Entry Requirements page.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    This is an excellent A Level to support entry to degrees in the arts, social sciences, business studies and media. It provides a secure basis for direct employment in many industries including journalism and the creative arts. A Level 3 qualification in English is recognised as essential for employability in numerous professional fields.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    Literary texts will cost approximately £20-£25 per year. You will be advised to purchase a dictionary  £6. There will be a photocopying charge of £10 and you will need to pay for conferences and theatre visits.

To Apply or Enquire

If you are interested in applying please fill out an application form. If you require more information please do not hesitate in sending us your queries via our enquiry form. We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

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“I’m really enjoying studying English Language as I like writing essays and the theorists we’ve studied have been fascinating. My research and referencing skills have improved a lot which is great preparation for university. The teachers on all my A level subjects are really supportive and are always on hand to offer help and advice on things like coursework and career choices.”

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