English Language and Literature

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This course combines the most enjoyable parts of literature and language study. You will develop your skills as a reader, writer and communicator, learning how language works in a range of situations.

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

GCSE grade 6 in either English Language or English Literature.


  • 80% Exams
  • 20% Coursework
About this course FAQs An introduction to English language and literature Pathways Information

What is English Language and Literature?

This course combines the most enjoyable parts of literature and language study. You will develop your skills as a reader, writer and communicator, learning how language works in different situations by exploring a range of interesting and stimulating texts. You’ll learn how to adapt your writing style for different audiences and purposes and consider how language can be best used to communicate your ideas effectively in a range of contexts with clarity and precision.


What will I study?

You will compare Dracula by Bram Stoker and Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, exploring how each author uses language to present key characters and themes, considering aspects such as context and genre. You will also study an anthology of non-fiction texts and analyse how writers develop a particular style, voice and persona in their work. You will read the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and learn about how historical, social and cultural context are important. You will enhance your ability to identify how language is used for specific audiences and purposes and learn how to critically respond to a range of texts, alongside writing your own fiction and non-fiction pieces for coursework.



Paper 1: 2 hours, 30 minutes, 40% of total A-level

  • Section A: Comparing a text from the anthology to an unseen text on a similar theme
  • Section B: A question on A Streetcar Named Desire


Paper 2: 2 hours 30 minutes, 40% of total A-level

  • Section A: A question on an unseen prose non-fiction text
  • Section B: A comparative essay on Dracula and Twelfth Night



  • 20% of total A-level
  • After reading and studying a fiction and non-fiction text of your own choice, you will write a fiction and non-fiction piece inspired by your reading
  • You will also write a commentary, an essay on your own writing where you explore how you were inspired by your own reading and what language choices you made in your own writing and why
  • Total folder word count: 2500-3250 words


Trips, visits and enrichments:

  • Trips to the theatre and cinema to see productions of set texts
  • Creative writing
  • Book club
  • College newspaper


What can it lead to?

Most students go on to study courses at various universities, including Oxbridge and Russell Group. English is a core subject which develops a range of specific and transferable skills which can lead to and be useful in a wide variety of careers such as teaching, journalism, librarianship, writing, public relations, advertising and retail management.


What kind of things will we be doing in lessons?
In English lessons you will work in many different, interesting and engaging ways, but in general you will work mostly through discussion, reading and writing activities. The type of activities will depend very much on the text you are studying at the time, so that, for example: • You might be asked to find out about a writer or topic by conducting research. • You could work in groups to analyse a particular character and then share your ideas with the rest of the class. • When reading a text, you might work in pairs to develop your own ideas through close reading and annotation, examining how different writers use language. • You will write essays and perhaps also conduct some self or peer assessment of your work. • Depending on the text, you might watch a filmed version and explore presentation of characters and themes.
Does studying English Language and Literature count as just one A-level qualification?
As this is a combined English course so the study of the language and literature elements count as just one A-level.
Will some lessons be Language and some Literature, as at GCSE?
Studying this subject works in an integrated way at A-level, so you will not have distinct lessons, though at times work might feel a little more literary (studying Dracula and Twelfth Night) or linguistic (reading non-fiction texts and writing your own non-fiction).
How is the study of A-level English Language and Literature different from studying A-level Literature?
Literature focuses upon the analytical study of fiction and there are more texts, activities and assessments in this regard whereas in English Language and Literature you will study fewer fiction texts in a similar way but also non-fiction and write your own creative fiction and non-fiction pieces as part of the coursework.

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