Stack of books on a wooden library shelf, one of them open on top, multicolored book spines background.


Course Duration
2 Years

Examination Board

Entry Criteria
Grade 5 English in addition to Grade 4 in Maths and at least 3 other qualifications at grade 4 or above.

Why study A level English literature and language?

What will I study during the course duration?

This specification offers opportunities for students to develop their subject expertise by engaging creatively, critically and independently with a wide range of texts. Using literary and linguistic concepts and methods, students analyse literary and non-literary texts in a range of modes and genres, in the process gaining insights into the nature of different discourses and ideas about creativity. Students develop skills as producers and interpreters of language by creating texts themselves and critically reflecting on their own processes of production. 

The key areas of learning embedded in the specification – the representation of place, point of view and genre in prose, the forms and functions of poetic voice, the role of the individual in society, conflict in drama, creative transformations of texts, researching and writing – will effectively engage A-level students from a wide ability range and help them to develop the key critical, creative and analytical skills required both for progression to higher education and for enhanced employability. 

The focus of teaching and learning is also guided to some extent by the set text choices, which have all been chosen for their accessibility and position as ideal vehicles for the application of students’ knowledge across these key areas. 

 Telling stories – Examined Unit 

  • Remembered Words 
  • Imagined Places 
  • Poetic Voices

Exploring Conflict – Examined Unit 

  • Writing about Society 
  • Dramatic Encounters

Making Connections – Non – Exam Assessment 

  • A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse (2,500–3,000 words)

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Telling stories 

What’s assessed 

  • Remembered places – the representation of place 
  • Imagined worlds – point of view and genre in prose 
  • Poetic voices – the forms and functions of poetic voice 
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities 


  • Written exam: 3 hours 
  • 100 marks 
  • 40% of A-level

Paper 2: Exploring conflict 

What’s assessed

  • Writing about society – the role of the individual in society, and re-creative writing based on set texts 
  • Critical commentary – evaluating own writing 
  • Dramatic encounters – conflict in drama
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activities 


  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes 
  • 100 marks
  • 40% of A-level Questions

Non-exam assessment: Making connections

What’s assessed

  • Making connections – investigation on a chosen theme and texts 
  • Methods of language analysis are integrated into the activity


  • Assessed by teachers 
  • Moderated by AQA 
  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level

Career opportunities and Future study

English Literature & Language offers students a chance to learn invaluable skills, including proofreading & editing, language usage, creativity and analytical thinking. These skills can be put to use in further education, studying a range of subjects, including journalism, teaching, marketing, business, law and the arts.

This, therefore, opens doors to numerous career opportunities in fields such as:

  • Scriptwriting and acting
  • Media
  • Law
  • Teaching
  • Journalism, editing and copywriting
  • Computing
  • Public relations and HR
  • Social media management