What is the course about?
The AS course explores language, the individual and society, as well as diversity and change. So you may be looking at the attitudes a particular word conveys, or how people are represented in the media. In diversity and change, you could be looking at how and why people speak differently in different parts of the country or the world. The AS qualification is assessed through two examinations.

Students choosing to continue the subject through to the full A Level will study child language development and language change. Through this you can explore theories about how children develop language and investigate how language has changed over time. There is an investigation where you choose a topic that interests you to investigate and this is supplemented by a creative writing piece.

Exam board: AQA English Language

Duration of course: One year for AS Level, leading to a second year for those that want to take the full A Level qualification.

What units/topics will be studied?
Paper 1: Language and the Individual
Paper 2: Language Varieties
AS topics are as follows: language and social groups, language and region, language and occupation and language and gender.

What can I do to prepare myself to study this subject?
Students would best prepare themselves by reading as many different types of texts they encounter in the world around them. They might also consider which aspects of language they themselves have strong opinions about, and take the opportunity to voice record any instances of spoken language they find particularly interesting – with the permission of the speakers of course!

Where can this lead me?
Students studying AS and A Level English Literature do so in order to serve a variety of academic and career directions. Many choose it in order to study an English degree at university, with a view to accessing careers in journalism, teaching or any occupation that requires strong skills of analysis and communication. Other students take English Literature because it is highly respected by universities and therefore works well alongside subject combinations for highly competitive courses, such as medicine.

Entry Requirements


C/5  – English Language,

C/5  – English Literature

Check Your G Score