English Language & Literature
A Level

Awarding Body: AQA

Course Description

English Language & Literature is for students who enjoy reading acclaimed literature and who are keen to learn more about how writers create their imaginative worlds. It will also appeal to students interested in developing their analysis and creative skills, exploring language, literary concepts and context.

Minimum of grade 5 in GCSE English Language and preferably grade 5 in GCSE English Literature too.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

In this wide-ranging course there are opportunities to study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of how language influences the world around us. The course explores a number of theories, themes and concepts relating to the development of language and its application in texts. You will investigate distinctive styles of speech and writing and how these are used in different contexts. Texts studied include: The Kite Runner, Frankenstein and Dracula; All My Sons by Arthur Miller; poetry including the work of John Donne, and non-fiction texts on Paris.

On the course, students will learn to apply integrated literary and linguistic analysis to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will become proficient in their knowledge of terminology from different language levels and they will also learn how to consider contextual influences on texts.

In addition to that, this course will also explore different historical periods, linguistic and literary theories, different genre conventions, as well psychological theories linked to communication. Furthermore, students will learn academic research skills and how to apply these to the different texts studied and to the coursework. There is also a transformational writing element to the course, where students will get an opportunity to write creatively, inspired by texts studied.

The course has three assessment elements. There are 2 final exams:

  • Paper 1: 3 hours,
  • Paper 2: 2 hours 30 minutes.

These are worth 80% of the final grade.

There is also a coursework element, which counts for 20% of the final grade. This part of the course allows some flexibility and choice, as it is an independent project, comparing a literary and a non-literary piece of work.

Get ready for the world of work with our E6 Programme, which integrates opportunity into academic study. There are many E6 courses that complement A Level English Language and Literature. These include; the Extended Project (EPQ), Hinglish, mentoring through the Portsmouth Scholars scheme and Unloc’s ‘You Speak’ debating competition, as well as teaching placements offered through the work experience programme.

A Level English Literature and Language is regarded as a core subject and it is therefore highly regarded in many different career paths. These include teaching, journalism, events management, drama to law, advertising, business and many more.

There are two exams, taking place in May/June in the second year of the course.

The coursework submission is scheduled for the autumn term of the second year.