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English Language A Level at Prior Pursglove And Stockton Sixth Form College

Course description

A Level English Language is a two-year linear course. This means that although you will complete numerous assessments and practice exams throughout your time at college, the exams which will provide you with your qualification come at the end of two years of study.

You will learn about a wide range of interesting linguistic topics, and be expected to discuss, analyse and evaluate both the language itself and many of its associated concepts and theories. It’s a challenging and diverse course, which our current students love!


You should study this course if you are interested in finding out how language works and in analysing the importance of social context on how we express ourselves. The course will help you to develop your communication skills, both in speech and writing, as well as help you to increase your analytical and evaluative skills. There is a small creative element as well, but please be aware that this is a linguistics course, and not a creative writing course.


You should have a good command of English yourself and a keen interest in analysing, discussion work and finding out how language works.

Course content

This is a two year course and over that period you will develop your understanding of different linguistic methods and the importance of audience, purpose and context in the production of language. The areas to be studied are as follows:

  • Language, the Individual and Society
  • Textual variations and representations: analysing and comparing texts linked by a common theme, including an element of how language has changed over time.
  • Children's language development (0-11 years): exploring how children learn to speak, read and write
  • Language Diversity and Change
  • Exploring ideas around language diversity e.g., language and gender, dialect and accent, social class, language use in occupational contexts.
  • Considering how and why language has changed over time
  • Analysing how texts use language to present ideas about language and writing a text in response to this.
  • Language in Action
  • Creating a portfolio of original writing using different genres and for different audiences and purposes
  • A language investigation into a topic of your choice

Entry requirements

You need to have achieved at least a grade C, but preferably a grade B, in GCSE English.

If you've just managed to achieve a C, you are likely to find the jump to A level English work quite hard, but as long as you bring to the course an enthusiasm for study and are prepared to attend workshops as required by your teacher, you should prosper. 


At the end of the course you will have two written exams, which are both 2 hours and 30 minutes in length. They each count for 40% of your A Level.

You will also produce a coursework folder for Language in Action; this will count for 20% of your A Level.

Financial information

We believe it is important for you to have a variety of experiences related to your studies. We attend specialist conferences at universities and organise visiting speakers who often lead workshops with our students.  Other trips are organised where possible.

Although not compulsory, it may be beneficial to purchase a copy of the course textbook for around £15.

Future opportunities

English Language combines well with many other disciplines and so it is helpful for most Higher Education options. It is an ideal basis for career choices such as teaching, speech therapy, journalism and the Law.  Effective communication is fundamental to any future career and this course will equip you with the skills you need for the workplace.

Some of the students who studied this course at Prior Pursglove College progressed on to:

  • Durham University – Law / Modern Languages / Psychology
  • Edinburgh Napier University – Law
  • Huddersfield University - Journalism
  • Leeds University – Law / Management with Marketing
  • Liverpool John Moore University – Drama & English / Law & Criminal Justice
  • London College of Fashion – Fashion Management
  • Manchester Met University – Primary Education
  • Newcastle College – Children and Young People
  • Northumbria University – Journalism
  • Nottingham Trent University – Broadcast Journalism
  • Salford University – Broadcast Journalism
  • Sunderland University – Magazine Journalism
  • Teesside University – Crime Scene Science / English Studies / Journalism
  • University of Chester – Primary Education with QTS
  • University of Cumbria – Primary Education with QTS
  • University of Westminster – International Marketing
  • York St John University – American Studies & Film Studies / Primary Education

Further information


You will be expected, as with any A Level, to read around the subject and study intensively in your own time, with about four hours of homework per week. Throughout the course we expect you to read texts, which are not directly related to the specification but are of interest thematically and linguistically. We also ask you to keep a glossary of key terminology.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Prior Pursglove And Stockton Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 23 December 2016
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