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English Language A Level at St John's Marlborough

Course description

The Edexcel linear course introduces the study of English in its various forms and contexts and allows students to develop a wide range of skills, including critical reading, data analysis, evaluation, the ability to develop arguments and a number of different writing skills, all invaluable for both further study and future employment.

The A level course encourages students to develop their interest in, and enjoyment of, English by learning about its structures and its functions, its development and its variations. In addition it enables students to develop their skills as producers and interpreters of language.

Course content

Paper 1: Language Variation 

This component involves studying and comparing how language varies according to context, creation of identity and changes over time. Students will analyse and compare using linguistic frameworks/concepts.

Paper 2: Child Language 

This component involves studying how children learn to speak and acquire literacy skills. Students will explore theories and concepts and learn to analyse data.

Paper 3: Investigating Language 

This component involves students selecting, researching and investigating a topic of language, preparing for the exam using a pre-released sub-topic. Students have to respond to unseen data on their topic and use their own research and data to respond evaluatively to another question.

Non Exam Assessment – Crafting Language

This component involves students creating two pieces of their own original writing in the same genre but with different purposes or audiences, accompanied by a commentary. (Total word count 2500-3000 words.)


Entry requirements

Students require at least a grade 6 in GCSE English Language, together with an interest in language in use and in developing their own writing.


The 2 year A Level course consists of 3 final exam papers and a non exam assessment, which involves two pieces of original writing and a commentary.

Paper 1

External examination : A level (2 hours 15 minutes) = 35% of total A level marks.

Paper 2

External examination: A level ( 1 hour) = 20% of total A level marks. 

Paper 3

External examination: A level (1 hour 45 minutes) = 25% of total A level marks.

Non Exam Assessment 

Assessed by teachers, moderated by EDEXCEL = 20% of total A level marks.

Future opportunities

For any career that requires good oral and written skills, an understanding of others and a sensitivity to people's needs, English is a valuable qualification.

Possible careers include:

  • Advertising
  • Broadcasting
  • Civil Service
  • Journalism
  • Local Government
  • Librarianship
  • Management and Administration
  • Personnel Work
  • Teaching
  • Secretarial Work
  • Social Work 

but most employers are likely to value the skills required to achieve an English A Level.

Many former students have gone on to study English Literature and English Language at University, and many more have found the A Level course a valuable preparation for a huge range of other courses.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St John's Marlborough directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2016

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