North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021

English language

Why study English language?

A-level English language is a world away from GCSE English study in many respects. No longer restricted solely to the study of the written word, students quickly immerse themselves in the spoken and computer-mediated words of real world texts; the origins of the English language and its ever changing face; the means by which children acquire language, and the differences between the various different ‘Englishes’ that exist in tandem. Students study all aspects of English: its sounds, its words, its grammatical structures and its impact in numerous contexts, as well as exploring why people care so much about key language-related debates such as accuracy, political correctness, gendered language, the language of power, English as a global language, and regional accents and dialects. Students often comment on how diverse and genuinely fascinating the A-level course content and study of live English really is.

With the necessity to develop as a writer and producer of texts (both of a piece of original, creative writing, and an investigative independent language research project), as well as a critical reader and interpreter of real world texts, the course demands real academic stamina. Reading widely and independently is an important part of any English course, and the scientific research associated with linguistic study adds an additional layer of challenge. Those students who excel in the subject can balance these skills, and develop impressive academic rigour; this sets them apart in their university applications and beyond as a result.

What our students say

“I love English language because it is a chance to have a deeper look into something which surrounds us without us ever really thinking why or how it happens.” Megan

“English language is relevant to modern society and links so well with so many other A-levels.” Jess

“I really love how English language relates to lots of other factors in everyday life.” Holly 

“You can apply what you learn in the real world.” Ajanth

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in English language at GCSE.

Potential courses

  • English language
  • Linguistics
  • Law
  • Education

Potential careers

  • Journalism
  • Education
  • Broadcasting
  • Law
  • Media
  • PR
  • Marketing

The A-level course

Unit% of A-levelContent
Language, the individual and society40Textual variations, representation and child language acquisition.
Language diversity and change 40Comparison of texts demonstrating diversity and change, and an exploration of discourse.
Two pieces of coursework20An original piece of writing and accompanying analytical commentary (1,500 words) An independent research project on a language topic of your choice (2,000 words).

Or, if you prefer to chat to someone please call our admissions team. For Senior School call 0113 228 5121 and for Primary School call 0113 228 5113.