English Language and Literature A Level
About the subject
This exciting subject combines two approaches to the study of English: the study of text as literature is combined with the study of text as language by looking in detail at a wide range of textual material (eg letters and diaries, speeches and transcribed talk, articles for magazines, news and periodicals). We study how writers use language in different contexts for an ever-shifting variety of audiences and purposes, in order to create distinctive styles. All students on this course will also have the opportunity to create their own original texts, and reflect analytically upon their methods of composition.
In the first year, students will study three set texts (one novel, one selection of poetry and an AQA Anthology of texts) and consider them through the themes of Remebering Places, Imagined Worlds and Poetic Voices. In the second year, students will produce creative writing on the theme of Society, and will study human conflict by examining a work of drama, as well as performing an original analytical investigation into an issue in language and literature.
Students will be encouraged in their own wider reading, and to develop their familiarity with the course authors by reading around the set texts. The department also runs a Creative Writing competition and a group of budding degree students for those with big dreams.
English Language & Literature requires students to take a seriousminded interest in both stories and in language, developing a wide-ranging analytical vocabulary involving grammatical, rhetorical and structural techniques.
Students will therefore of course develop their analytical essay-writing skills, but significant emphasis is also placed on developing their powers of independent research and of linguistic creativity.
Subject Combinations and Progression
A respected academic subject, English Language & Literature is often combined with other Humanities subjects like History and Politics, or with Media and Film Studies, but it also goes well with Social Sciences, with Languages – it is extremely flexible. The same is true of its uses later in life: obviously it can lead towards journalism and the media, but also towards publishing, the law, therapy, advertising, as well as towards teaching and academic life..
Module 1: Telling Stories: Written exam, 40% A Level
Module 2: Exploring Conflict: Written exam, 40% A Level
Module 3: Making Connections: Coursework, 20% A Level
4 or above in GCSE English