This subject combines literary and linguistic study with the emphasis is on being able to understand how different writers, using a variety of genres, adapt their language and style to a particular audience and context.

From September 2015, new A levels in English will be linear qualifications, with all assessment at the end of the course. AS will become a standalone qualification and will not contribute towards an A level.


A Level English Language & Literature combines literary and linguistic study. You will study a wide variety of different texts from a literary as well as a linguistic perspective. Non-literary and digital texts are studied as you learn about the creation of voice and how to technically analyse it. You will also learn about how literary writers use structure, form and language to create particular effects in their work. The A-level involves producing two pieces of original writing based on your study of one fictional text and one non-fictional. You will produce one piece of fictional writing and one piece of non-fiction, along with an analytical commentary in which you reflect on the texts you have studied and your original work.


Throughout the course your tutors will emphasise the importance of using literary and linguistic terminology in your critical writing. Students are regularly tested in order to ensure that they have the necessary analytical tools at their disposal. For the coursework, your tutor will teach you how to critically analyse the set texts, research a particular topic or theme and help you adapt and shape your writing for a particular audience and purpose. At the end of the course, you will have mastered not only critical writing but also creative.


AS GCE in English Language and Literature (Edexcel) This qualification consists of two externally examined components. 100% examined assessment at AS which must all be completed in May/June in any single year. First assessment 2016.

Weighting Format
Component 1 Voice in Speech and Writing 50% 1 hour 30 min exam
Component 2 Varieties in Lang/Lit 50% 1 hour 30 min exa

Advanced GCE in English Language and Literature (Edexcel) This qualification consists of two externally examined components and coursework. Students must complete all assessment in May/June in any single year. First assessment 2017.

Weighting Format
Component 1 Voice in Speech and Writing 40% 2 hour 30 min exam
Component 2 Varieties in Lang/Lit 40% 2 hour 30 min exa
Coursework Investigating and Creating Texts 20%

Exam Board: Edexcel


We expect you to have enjoyed studying poetry, plays and novels at GCSE and to be someone who reads on their own. Find out if English Language and Literature is the right choice for you by answering these questions:

  • Do you like creative writing?
  • Do you like researching independently and reading around a topic?
  • Developing a critical argument in order to support a particular point of view?
  • Being exposed to a variety of literary and non-literary texts?
  • Learning about how language functions on a technical and grammatical level?


A Level English Language and Literature touches upon many other subjects and disciplines. It complements particularly the following subjects:

  • Media Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Drama
  • Classical Civilisation
  • History

Because of the high regard English studies are held in general, the AS Language and Literature qualification might well be an option for those considering applying for Medicine.


You can apply to do a degree in a wide range of subjects such as English, Journalism, Media and Communication Studies or Law. Studying this subject will make you expert at analysing, interpreting and creating a wide variety of written and spoken texts. The skills you’ll learn are highly valued by universities and future employers alike. Your powers of written and spoken communication will be enhanced as you hone your writing and speaking skills, producing texts and scripts for different audiences and purposes.


Q. Can I do the course in one year? A. The AS is a one-year course with all assessments taking place in the summer. The A-level is a two-year course with all assessments taking place in the summer of the second year. Q. If I wanted to study English at university should I chose English Language and Literature or just English Literature?? A. Both subjects are held in high regard by universities. English university departments pushed for Language and Literature to be created because they wanted students to be prepared for linguistic study as well as creative writing. English Language and Literature would be more appropriate if you were to apply to an English course with a strong media/creative writing element to it.


To study A Levels, your current or pending exam results should be equivalent to or higher than GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in at least 5 subjects and a minimum level of English equivalent to IELTS 5.5.

At the start of each academic year of study students following an A Level course without a pass at Level 5/Grade C in GCSE or IGCSE English Language or with an Academic English score below 6.5 overall must join an Academic English training course for the duration of the academic year which will be timetabled alongside A Level lessons.

If your level of English is not sufficient to meet the entry criteria for the A Level programme you will normally be offered a place on the one year Academic Preparation Course (pre A Level) in order to bring your English skills up to the required level.