English Language is a fantastic subject! Language is a gateway to opening many branches of interest, whether it is a historical text, regional accent, speech or writing.

India Palfreyman

India Palfreyman

Course Description

In Year 1, this course will enable students to explore the fundamental structures, functions and diversity of writing, speech and conversation, and how language functions in different social contexts. Students will also learn methods of language analysis which will underpin their learning throughout the whole course. In Year 2, students will explore variations in written texts and how children’s language develops from birth. There is also a coursework unit which will enable students to investigate a language area of their choice as well as giving them an opportunity to write creatively.

Entry Requirements

Achieve 5 or more standard GCSE passes or higher (grade 4 or higher).

If a student is applying for a course in a subject that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that they would have achieved at least a standard pass (grade 4) in that subject.

Course Content

Language, the Individual and Society
The aim of this part of the subject content is to introduce students to language study, exploring textual variety and children’s language development (0-11 years). This area of study introduces students to methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre, mode and representation. It also introduces them to the study of children’s language development, exploring how children learn language, in both spoken and written forms, and how they interact with the world around them.

Language Diversity and Change
The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore language diversity and change over time. Students will study the key concepts of audience, purpose, genre and mode and will explore language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts. They will also explore the processes of diachronic language change, navigating the English language from its earliest development to contemporary times. This part of the subject content also requires students to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change in texts from 1600 to the present day. Students will also develop their academic writing skills in the form of discursive essays, and will become confident in writing for both a specialist and non-specialist audience.

Language in Action
The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently, and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise. It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research:

  • A language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
  • A piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each).

Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multimodal data, or a mixture of text types, demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest.


Paper 1: Language, the individual and society
Written exam – 2 hours 30 minutes
100 marks
40% of A Level

Paper 2: Language diversity and change
Written exam – 2 hours 30 minutes
100 marks
40% of A Level

Non-exam assessment: Language in Action
Word count – 3,500
100 marks
20% of A Level

Future Opportunities

English Language is a subject which is very well regarded by higher education institutions. Though it is something we use every day, this is an opportunity to understand the mechanic of our native language. Therefore, it complements any educational course that a student might follow and provides a new perspective on most professions. It is widely accepted for careers in teaching, journalism, the media, social work, marketing, publicity, and many more.

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