English Language and Literature

Subject Intent: Why English Literature and English Language?

In the English Language and Literature curriculum, students are encouraged
to develop their skills as producers and interpreters of language, reflecting on how writers convey messages and how they can use writing to convey messages of their own. Students will develop an analytical lexicon comprising of key linguistic and literary terms that they can apply to any seen or unseen text. The analytical commentary that forms part of the curriculum allows students to develop not only their self-awareness, but an ability to evaluate how the texts they have written fit within wider literary and linguistic traditions. The many skills developed across the course equip students for success, not only in English, but in other subjects and the wider world

Why should I study this subject?

English Language and Literature is an excellent A-Level for those who enjoy classic literature such as
‘Wuthering Heights’ and Romantic poetry, but who also want to explore non-literary writing such as journalism, biographies and political speeches. If you are the kind of person who enjoys reading novels, plays and poetry, but who also enjoys editorial articles or polemical blog posts, this subject would be a good fit for you. The course is assessed through the combination of two exam papers and coursework. You will need to be comfortable writing lots of essays, but we will teach you the skills you need to be able to do this successfully. An excellent preparation for an undergraduate English degree, the course will also help you develop the kind of analytical and communication skills valued by employers.

What will I study ?

In Year 12 and 13 you will study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts:

• Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
• A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
• A collection of Romantic poetry
• An anthology of non-fiction writing, entitled ‘Voices’
• Unseen prose

In addition, the coursework requires you to write two texts totalling around 1500 words: one fiction piece and one non-fiction piece, with an accompanying analytical commentary of around 1000 words. This is worth 20% of the qualification.


I have enjoyed this course, there has been variety as we are studying both literature and language. It has been interesting studying classics such as Wuthering Heights and looking at ranges of texts from anthologies. Additionally I have made good friends in our class through group work and discussions.

Bethany Swailes – Beckfoot Thornton


What are the entry requirements?

Please check this subject table for full details of our A Level entry requirements.