English Language A Level

English Language A Level

This course is designed to provide a framework for the study of language and the practice of

communication skills. It will help you to understand the role language plays in your life, and to formulate

answers to questions such as:

  • What can language do, and how can we use language most effectively?

  • How and why does language vary?

  • How do we acquire language skills and how do they develop and change?

  • What role does language play in our sense of identity and our relationships?

  • What attitudes do most people hold towards different kinds of language?

  • How does language communicate social values?

There is plenty of potential for applying what you learn to authentic situations and to topics that are relevant to your personal life, your interests and your educational or vocational aspirations. You will put what you learn into practice!

Exam topics include:

  • Language and the Individual

  • Variety in Language

Before you explore these topics, you will be introduced to:

  • Systematic frameworks for analysis which will equip you with a ‘tool-kit’ for describing what you observe in the course of your studies.

  • Theories about language, which you will use throughout the course.

The following will be considered:

  • Language acquisition and development (how children learn to talk; how our language skills continue to

  • develop)

  • Language change

  • Individual research project into a language topic of your choice.

  • Media text and commentary at A Level, non-examination assessment is worth 20% of your final mark.

Entry requirements

In order to be considered for an A Level programme of study, you will need to obtain a minimum of five GCSEs at a grade 4/C or above. Specific entry requirements for this course are detailed below.

You should have at least a Grade 4 or GCSE Grade C in English Language and English Literature, with one

of those grades being a 5 or higher.

You should be interested in how language works, and in the many varieties of English there are.

You should want to develop your range of writing skills, likes discussions and research, and enjoys analytical tasks involving close attention to detail. You should also have an interest in people and how we interact.

Whilst care has been taken to ensure that information is correct at time of going to press, national changes to all subjects mean that the exact content is not guaranteed.

Please note that these entry grade requirements may differ to those published in the 2019 prospectus. Grade requirements as detailed here and on the website should always be used as the most accurate and up-to-date


Future career and study opportunities

An A Level in English Language can lead to a Higher Education course in this or many other related

subjects, or to any career which demands good, precise communication skills and an analytical understanding of English and language in general.

Examples of such careers might include speech therapy, management, teaching, law, journalism, media

work or accountancy.

All employers will appreciate the ability to understand complex texts, to organise material and structure documents and thoughts, and will value employees who can express themselves fluently and with confidence, as well as write effectively.

A Level English Language will combine extremely well with almost all other subjects, though it cannot be

combined with other English courses.

NB: A few universities specify English Literature or English Language and Literature at A Level as an entry requirement for an English degree. Please check this when you make your A-Level English choice.

We have good links with university linguistics departments and offer opportunities for visits to the universities. We also host university lecturers at New College.

Work experience/Careers Extra

This course does not contain a specific work experience component but many of the skills you will learn are essential to employability. If needed, our Employability Team can help you find local work placements that will support the course.

Additional resources/costs

You will need to provide your own stationary. The College’s Learning Resource Centre is well stocked with a variety of daily and Sunday newspapers and journals, support materials, past papers and exemplar to support your studies.


If you have a question about this or any other full-time course, email admissions@newcollege.ac.uk or call 01793 611470

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