English Language

English Language Information Guide


When you study A Level English Language, you will go well beyond what you studied at GCSE. You can consider the A Level as almost a new subject. Topics studied on the course include regional accents and dialects, English in other countries, how men and women use language, and how language changes (including the history of the English Language). You will also learn how to analyse language in detail, building on the skills you developed at GCSE. A coursework component gives you scope to pursue your own English language interests.

Who is this course for?

Students who study A Level English Language go on to study a range of subjects at university, in addition to English Language, linguistics, speech therapy and other directly related courses. Universities will recognise your analytical skills and your ability to ‘decode’ many forms of English. Employers will value your writing skills and your accurate use of English. Careers that require a good understanding of the English Language include journalism, law, publishing, PR, media jobs, management, teaching – and many others!


An A Level in English Language can lead to higher education (university), whilst your advanced writing and speaking skills will be attractive to many employers.

Course Content

A two-year course leading to an A Level qualification awarded by the AQA examination board.

Topics studied under each component are:

Language, the individual and society

Textual variations and representations (analysis)

Children’s language development

Language diversity and change

The language of social groups and occupations

English as a world language

The history of English from 1600 to the present day

Change in language

Attitudes towards diversity and change

Language in action

Methods of linguistic research and analysis

Writing in different forms.


Component Type of Assessment

Paper 1: Language, the individual and society – written exam, set and marked externally

Paper 2: Language diversity and change – written exam, set and marked externally

Non-examined assessment: Language in action – Coursework, set and marked internally, with external moderation, consisting of two pieces: (1) Original writing, (2) Language Investigation.