English Language

Reasons to study this course

  • You are interested in learning how English is used in both spoken and written language.
  • To understand, analyse and discuss how different writers persuade, inform, instruct, advise and entertain their different audiences.
  • To see how the English Language has changed over the centuries, including the impact of texting and social media.
  • To develop crucial skills needed to succeed in any career, university course or apprenticeship.

What you will need to study this course

  • minimum grade 4 in GCSE English Language
  • willingness to read newspapers and articles from a range of publications
  • ability to write essays
  • hard work ethic
  • independent research skills

What you will study

Transcripts from television, radio and spontaneous real-life talk, as well as written texts from the year 1500 to the present day. You will improve your ability to structure your writing, create valid arguments and develop your vocabulary. Opportunities to write fiction and non-fiction.

How you will be assessed

Year 1 (AS) – exam

Year 2 (A-Level) – 20% coursework and 80% examination

Priestley Extra

Opportunities to attend conferences and residential visits. You can also join the Creative Writing group, college magazine, and take part in the Linguistics Olympiad (see www.uklo.org).


Careers including law, teaching, business, marketing, advertising, journalism, publishing and speech therapy. A-Level English Language is accepted for entry onto a wide range courses at university, including those within the Russell Group and at Oxbridge.

Recommended reading

Sara Thorne: Mastering Advanced English Language is the first stop, as it is written by the person who is the consultant for the A-Level English Language course we are studying.


You can read Babel – the English Magazine on-line in a PDF magazine format. Just go to their website: https://babelzine.co.uk/. There is a free sampler magazine you can read for free, after which you will need a password to read more.

Aim to read a broadsheet newspaper regularly (say once a week) – many of them make (some) content freely available on-line: The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent.

Revision Express AS and A Level English Language by Alan Gardiner

A2 Level English Language Revision Guide by CPG Books

Choosing Your Study Programme

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