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English Language A Level at Sunderland College

Course description

This course is for school leavers that would like to develop their interest and enjoyment in the use of English.

Course content

Component 1: Language Variation (35% of overall qualification)

Written examination, lasting 2 hours 15 minutes. Two sections: you must answer the question in Section A and the other question in Section B.

• Section A – Individual Variation: one question on two unseen 21st-century linked texts/data. You are required to produce an extended comparative response
• Section B – Variation over Time: one question on two thematically linked unseen texts/data, from two different periods. You must produce an extended comparative response

Component 2: Child Language (20% of overall qualification)

Written examination, lasting 1 hour. One question based on a set of unseen data – either spoken or written. You must produce an extended response

Component 3: Investigating Language (25% of the total qualification). Written examination, lasting 1 hour 45 minutes.

Two sections: students answer one question from Section A and one question from Section B. You will select a research focus from five topic areas and develop your research and investigation skills. In doing so, you will develop your personal language specialism. A subtopic will be pre-released in the January before the examination. The pre-released subtopic will provide a steer for your research and investigation to enable you to prepare for the external assessment.

Component 4: Crafting Language (20% of the total qualification)
You are required to produce two assignments:

Assignment 1: two pieces of original writing from the same genre, differentiated by function and/or audience (AO5 assessed).
Assignment 2: one commentary, reflecting on the two pieces of original writing produced and making connections with research undertaken
Assignment 1 is 1500–2000 words and Assignment 2 is 1000 words. Total of 50 marks available: Assignment 1 is 30 marks and Assignment 2 is 20 marks.


Entry requirements

You’ll need five GCSEs at grade C or above including a grade B or above in English Language or Literature to study an English Language A Level.


You will be taught using a variety of styles and methods and will be encouraged to become involved in debate and discussion about the power of meaning and the skills writers use to put ideas across.

In a typical week you will be given a range of tasks and classroom activities and will also be required to complete regular homework as well as undertake wider reading.


Future opportunities

English is often deemed a ‘core’ subject and gaining an A-level qualification will open a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities.

Suggested subject combinations include essay based choices such as History, Sociology, English Literature. Law and Media/Film Studies.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sunderland College directly.

Last updated date: 28 January 2016
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    • Washington Campus an award winning campus that is home to Washington Sixth Form and our higher education provision. Located between Gateshead and Washington it was built on the site of the former Usworth School. It was developed to cater for up to 850 people from in or around the Washington area.

      The £10 million development provides an excellent learning environment for both academic and vocational course for 16 to 18 year old students, and also acts as our ICT specialist centre. It's equipped with the latest technology to ensure students experience the same systems used by industries in the real world and to help get them ready to move in to higher education or the workplace.

      Washington Campus is also the base for our higher education provision, providing a range of higher education coursesfor the region, from HNCs and HNDs to foundation and full degrees.

      There are also impressive enrichment facilities at Usworth with on site football and rugby pitches and a rec room fitted with a pool table, Xbox 360 and a chill out zone.