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A Level English Language & Literature

Do you love analysing literature and the language of the world around us? Prepare to study a wide variety of texts that will hone your critical thinking and perceptive abilities, whilst also developing your creative writing skills.

Why Choose This Course?

Love writing? Like to analyse…well, everything? English Language and Literature allows you to be creative – not only through your fiction and non-fiction coursework – but also through the creative approach you can take in your analytical work. How? This multi-disciplinary course approaches analysis from both a linguistic and literary point of view. Word class? Sure. Imagery? Of course! This A Level differs from those focused primarily on literature by extending its coverage to explore non-literary and non-fiction texts. You can expect to study prose, drama, and poetry, but also a range of texts such as newspaper articles, online copy, and adverts.

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Start date: 09/09/2024

Course code
Level 3
Penwith College
2 years
A Level

Top Course Highlights

Expert tutors

Creative opportunities

Breadth and variety

Innovative approaches to texts

Personalised support

A young girl sits in a classroom with a folder open in front of her.

Innovative and creative approaches to texts

Our team of expert lecturers offer a range of innovative approaches to exploring both literary and non-literary texts. From exploring the different stage and screen versions of Hamlet to using texts as springboards for your own writing, you can be assured of an enjoyable, challenging and creative learning experience.

English & Languages 244

Enjoy breadth and variety

This course is not just about analysing literary texts. You will investigate non-fiction works from both past and present writers, whilst honing your creative writing skills via our coursework module. This varied approach means that no two lessons are ever the same!

English & Languages 243

Develop transferable skills

English Language and Literature is a facilitating subject for many degree courses and is highly regarded by both universities and employers. The skills that you gain on this course are transferable to many future pathways, leaving you well equipped for the demands of undergraduate study and the world of work.

What Will I Learn?

Unit 1 – Voices in Speech and Writing 

This component has an explicit focus on the concept of ‘voice’. You will study how spoken voices are formed and written voices created in literary, non-literary and digital texts. You will study a range of texts from an anthology of non-fiction and non-literary genres and learn how to critically analyse these texts by comparing them with other, unseen, examples. As part of this unit you will also study the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. As well as learning terms to help you approach the analysis of language and literature, you will also explore the conventions and characteristics of these two genres and look at the significance and influence of the contexts in which texts were produced and received. As a result, you will learn from other disciplines in the course of your A Level – such as History, Philosophy and Sociology.

Unit 2 – Varieties in Language and Literature 

This component focuses on the ways in which different writers convey their thoughts or ideas towards a theme in literary texts.  Your understanding of how writers use language techniques and literary devices to craft their pieces and communicate ideas or issues will be developed in this module – as well as your understanding of the historical and social context in which this literature was written. For example we may focus on the theme of ‘Society and the Individual’ and the novel A Room with a View by E. M. Forster and the play by Shakespeare: Hamlet.

Unit 3 – Investigating and Creating Texts (Coursework – worth 20% of A Level grade)

  • One piece of fiction writing
  • One piece of creative non-fiction writing
  • Analytical commentary of both pieces

This exciting module allows you to express your creative writing skills through the production of two pieces of writing which have been inspired by your wider reading. You will submit one piece of fiction writing and one piece of creative non-fiction writing. You will then write one analytical commentary reflecting on your studied texts and the pieces of writing you have produced.

Where Will It Take Me?

English graduates have gone on to pursue Law, Medicine, Journalism, Business Management and Education, as well as careers in academia and the civil service, to name but a few. The course provides an excellent foundation for any degree which requires an essay-based subject, and compliments many other subjects well.

Assessment Arrangements

Formal assessment for the A Level is at the end of two years. There are two exams, one for each unit, and each worth 40% of your overall grade. Coursework is worth 20%. There will be regular assessments throughout the course and more formal end of Year One internal assessments to track your progress.

Entry Requirements

Five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including a minimum of Grade 5 and 6 in English Language and English Literature (either way around). You should have an interest in reading and be prepared to analyse and study a range of texts.

Information & Support

To prepare for this course you should begin reading a core novel, for example A Room with a View by E.M.Forster. It is also beneficial to be familiar with a range of non-fiction genres. You may like to begin by reading one of the non-fiction texts below:

  • A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • The Autobiography of Malcom X, Malcom X
  • The Motorcycle Diaries, Che Guevara
  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  • Wild, Cheryl Strayed

Awarding Body: Edexcel

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What you could earn

  • Authors, Writers and Translators
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Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


Potential Salary


Entry Level Salary


Average Salary


Annual openings in Cornwall


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