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English Language AS & A Level at Durham Sixth Form Centre

Course description

This course aims to develop a wide range of linguistic skills at a high level through the study of both spoken and written English. Students learn to express themselves in speech and writing and explore how to use key concepts relating to language in use.

Course content

Students become skilled at writing creatively for a variety of specific purposes and audiences and there are also opportunities to analyse the ways in which both spoken and written forms of language have changed over time.

Students acquire the requisite terminology to allow them to be both self-aware of their own writing as well as critical of spoken and written texts created by others. Students’ own personal experience of language provides the basis for much of what is a very practical study of a very wide range of material. This includes; language concepts and issues, language change over time, creative and critical use of language, language and identity.

Students learn about their own as well as others’ accents, dialects and sociolects; they discover how we acquire new vocabulary as well as lose language; how we represent our view of our world through our choice of language and the impact of political correctness on language use in the recent past. Further areas of study include children’s acquisition of language as well as topics such as the development of Standard English in this country and people’s attitudes to it.

Entry requirements

There are a range of courses and pathways available to you at Durham Sixth Form Centre depending on your GCSE results and academic profile. In order to enrol with us as a student, you must have the minimum of 5 A*-C GCSE grades (or equivalent). In addition, individual subjects have specific entry requirements, which will be discussed with you during the application and enrolment process. Students who do not achieve a grade C or above (or numerical equivalent) in GCSE English and/or mathematics will be required to continue studying these subjects at Durham Sixth Form Centre.

If you do not meet our entry requirements but are still keen to study at Durham Sixth Form Centre, please contact us to discuss your options.

Future opportunities

Students with AS or A2-level English Language have a wide range of possible higher education and career opportunities. The skills developed in this course are in demand from employers, universities and colleges and are also valuable in their own right. They can help lead to careers in areas such as teaching, journalism, other media and the law. The written skills developed in English Language support any course with a substantial written component.

Further information

English Language can be studied as a single subject in higher education; it can also be combined with English Literature or a wide variety of other subjects such as History, Media Studies, Law, Philosophy, Politics or foreign languages.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Durham Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 13 January 2017
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Key information


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    • Durham Sixth Form Centre is located in Durham City Centre next to Gala Square and Freeman’s Quay. We are a couple of minutes walk from both the bus station and the railway station. Our students enjoy having all of the city centre facilities, shops, restaurants, the city library, cinema and theatre on our doorstep. In the city itself, students find a host of lively cultural, social and educational advantages and facilities. The galleries, exhibitions, museums and book shops all play their part in enriching the student experience. A large public car-park is directly opposite and adjacent to Durham Sixth Form Centre’s main entrance.