A-Level English Language and Literature

This course combines the study of poetry, prose and drama with the exploration of non-fiction texts and creative writing. While acquiring the literary and linguistic knowledge that is fundamental to understanding language and how it is used in a range of contexts, you will also develop vital academic skills, such as researching, presenting and essay writing.

Subject content

You will study a range of 20th century literature, including The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, a selection of poems by Seamus Heaney and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Alongside these texts, you will also study an anthology of non-literary texts about Paris. The range of reading on offer will give you the opportunity to explore ways in which writers use and adapt language, form and structure in texts, as well as the importance of social and historical contexts. Your study of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini will challenge you to write creatively, as you explore how to ‘recast’ the events of this novel from the perspective of other characters. Equally, you will have the opportunity to examine the effects of the choices you have made in your creative writing by producing analytical commentaries.

Learning methods

We take an interactive and collaborative approach towards our studies in English Language and Literature. You will learn through a process of discussions, group and paired work, independent work and lectures.


By examination and coursework at the end of the two years of study. Throughout the two years of study, there will be internal assessments that link to the final examinations.


General college entry requirements plus a grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language.

Where can it lead?

English Language and Literature is a versatile A-level choice and is highly regarded by Higher Education establishments. With an English Language and Literature A-level, you have the expertise to help you in the following fields: marketing, journalism and media, law, social work, accountancy, management consultancy, English teaching, primary teaching, teaching abroad, the police force, the music/fashion industry, television and film industry, politics and many more.