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English Language – A-level

Studying English Language at A-level is very different from studying it at GCSE. It involves the linguistic analysis of a range of different types of spoken and written texts.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: A Levels
School Leaver - Academic
Location: Joseph Wright Centre
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?: Y
Joseph Wright Centre

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Course Information for Students

English Language A-level is very different from what you may be used to in your GCSE studies.  It involves the linguistic analysis of a range of different types of spoken and written texts.  This A-level complements many other subjects and can help in a range of careers such as teaching and journalism.

You will need at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English Language at grade 5 and Maths at grade 4.

A recent school report will be required which demonstrates a committed attitude to learning.

It is assumed that students enrol on a two-year A-level programme of study consisting of three or more subjects. However, students will be expected to demonstrate a committed attitude to learning and make positive progress in their first year of study.

First year:

  • Close linguistic analysis of a wide range of authentic texts
  • Social varieties of English

Second year:

  • Original writing for a ‘real world’ purpose (coursework)
  • Research into a language area of individual interest (coursework)
  • Analysis of how children acquire language
  • How English changes over time

This course will be delivered on-site at the Joseph Wright Centre.


The course will be assessed via two 2.5 hour written examinations at the end of the second year.  Each paper is worth 40% of the mark (i.e. 80% in total).

A coursework project in the second year – worth 20% of the mark – will be on independent research into a chosen area of language and will include a piece of original writing.

This qualification is a useful foundation for a course in higher education or for employment.  Career prospects include roles in teaching, advertising, media, recruitment consultancy, publishing, human resources, journalism and secretarial work.

For more information contact Derby College on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...


Teaching Professionals


Teaching Professionals

Higher Education Teaching Professionals


Higher Education Teaching Professionals

Further Education Teaching Professionals


Further Education Teaching Professionals

Primary Education Teaching Professionals


Primary Education Teaching Professionals




Authors, Writers and Translators


Authors, Writers and Translators

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DCG Success Stories

Tyler Jackson at the Joseph Wright Centre

Tyler Jackson

Former A level student Tyler returns to Joseph Wright as English lecturer

My former A level lecturer, Suzanne Starr, was my PGCE mentor. She and my English lecturer Anna Bowskill were just amazing and it's great to now be working alongside the lecturers who taught me so well at A level. I tell my current intake of A level English students that they are me four years ago. I can relate to them, having been in the same situation so recently.

Read More about Tyler Jackson

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Course Information Last Updated On: May 2, 2024 4:45 pm