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English Language and Literature A Level at Dame Alice Owen's School

Course description

English Language and Literature is the course for you if you want to combine your study of language and literature while developing your skills in writing for a variety of audiences and purposes. If you are looking for an A level that will give you transferable communication skills and that will help almost any other course or career, look no further than English Language and Literature.

Course content

The engaging course integrates the study of language and literature – both spoken and written - and will enable you to develop your analytical and creative writing skills. You will study poetry, drama and prose texts as well as a collection of non-fiction texts in an anthology. Exposure to a greater variety of texts than those encountered at GCSE and opportunities to apply linguistic and literary concepts and methods to your analysis, will allow you to explore the richness of language and literature and cultivate your own critical responses. Additionally, you will develop your original and creative writing talents, and strengthen your evaluative skills. The English Language and Literature course enables depth and breadth of study, with flexible content that supports independence, wide reading and creativity.

The A Level English Language and Literature allows you to develop your interest in, and enjoyment of, English as you:

• develop and apply your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation;

• develop and apply your understanding of the concepts and methods appropriate for the analysis and study of language;

• use linguistic and literary approaches in your reading and interpretation of texts, showing how the two disciplines can relate to each other;

• engage creatively and critically with a wide range of texts;

• explore the ways in which texts relate to each other and the contexts in which they are produced and received;

• develop your skills as producers and interpreters of language.

English Language and Literature combines well with many other subjects. History, Politics and Modern Foreign Languages are particularly suitable, but it can also be a valuable contrast to scientific, technological, humanities and economics-based subjects.  If you are considering going on to Higher Education, the English Language and Literature qualification provides a good foundation for degree courses in English, the Arts, Humanities, Politics, Law and Media. The English Language and Literature qualification is also welcomed for many different careers because it emphasises creativity, disciplined thought and communication, plus an ability to synthesise and contextualise ideas. It can lead to careers in writing, journalism, management and administration, public relations, teaching, law, publishing and the media.

Entry requirements

At least a Grade 6 in English Language and at least a Grade 6 in English Literature


We follow the OCR English Language and Literature (EMC) specification which is supported by the English and Media Centre.

Texts studied:

  • A Level Component 1 (Non-fiction spoken and written texts - 16%) 

Question focused on comparison of non-fiction text to one from the non-fiction anthology

  • A Level Component 2 (The language of poetry and plays - 32%) 

Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Rapture’ and Tennessee Williams’ ‘Streetcar Named Desire’

  • A Level Component 3 (Reading as a Writer, Writing as a Reader - 32%) 

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ 

Fiction creative writing and accompanying commentary.

  •  A Level Component 4 (non-exam assessment – 20%) 

Comparative analytical study to include the study of George Orwell’s ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ and a creative writing piece totalling 3,000 words.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Dame Alice Owen's School directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September