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AS/A Level English Language and Literature

Programme Description

Whether you enjoy debating how the world of literature shapes our way of thinking; discussing how writers’ have developed techniques and mastered the use of the English language, or understanding the contextual factors that have helped influence a text, an A level in English language and literature is for you.

We study a wide variety of different texts across the two years, ranging from non-fiction works, to the classic elements of poetry and drama. English Language and Literature is a facilitating subject into an array of University degrees and career paths, including journalism, creative and biographical writing, law, lecturing, curating and teaching.

Programme Features

This course will give you a grounding in the technical aspects of language study; improving the precision of students' own writing and their confidence in using and discussing particular language features. There is a significant creative writing component at both AS and A2 and we spend time analysing successful strategies and literary techniques to aid progression and success at A Level. 

In English@CSG, we provide a range of practical activities and external visits to encourage students' active participation and to provide a stimulus for their own writing. Fifty percent of the course is based on literary texts, so students extend their acquaintance with poetry, drama and prose texts. The course combines well with other humanities subjects, but is also useful for science students who need to continue to develop their communication skills Other combinations work very well with English Language and Literature, particularly the study of foreign languages and Media and Film Studies.

Progression & Employment

Recent English students have successfully progressed into careers and University degrees in law, journalism, copy-writing, translations, politics and teaching.  In 2017-2018, an A level student progressed to Cardiff University, to pursue a career in law. The skills and knowledge they developed and obtained during their English studies greatly helped them gain a position in the Sennedd (Welsh Assembly building) in Cardiff Bay, assisting members of parliament in this department.They attributed their success in a very competitive field to their ability to communicate effectively and think critically about the world around them: skills they learned in English@CSG.

A* - E 100% pass rate at A2.

Programme Content

AS Level:

In AS/Year 1 you will study the process and comparative analysis within Creative Writing.  This is supported and developed throught eh literature studies in prose and drama which can help you to develop wider and more sophisticated skills in your writing.

A2 Level:

In second year studies, we look critically at a Shakespeare text and further develop your prose and poetry skills in analysing unseen texts.  There is a coursework elment, worth 20% of your overall A Level, and this is done under contralled conditions in lessons, but moderated externally. 

Programme Assessment

Assessment takes the form of written examinations and a coursework portfolio.

At AS, the examination focuses on the analysis of unseen texts and an essay on a prose fiction text studied during the year. At A2, the examination again focuses on unseen analysis and the essay involves an investigation of two drama texts studied during the year.

Coursework at both levels involves independent writing and research. Themes might include Gothic Fiction or the presentation of the experience of war. Students are also required to write  detailed commentaries in which they explore the choices of form, structure and language they have made.

Programme Entry Requirements

Normally, students 16 - 19 years of age will require a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grades A* - C.

Entry requirements: B+ grades in English literature and English language.

Entry for mature students without formal qualifications is at the discretion of the Curriculum Area.

Additional Costs

All learners are required to pay an administration fee of £45.00 prior to enrolment.

You will need to provide your own stationery and may also incur costs if the department arranges educational visits.