Why Study?

There’s a lot more to English than the words we speak, read and write.  English is the primary language of communication in the UK and often also around the world. Most of us grow up speaking it fluently or learn naturally as we become immersed in the classroom and society around us. You will go far beyond learning the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar, and to construct a sentence on a page.  Employers say that one of the most valuable things they look for in the people who work for them is good communication skills and what better way to learn how to communicate but studying how we communicate? Studying English Language and Literature helps to sharpen your analytical skills; you’ll take a variety of fascinating texts and confidently link with other texts, theories, literary movements, critical theories and even historical events.  You’ll show that you can handle complex ideas, search for patterns and interpret information (written and oral) in a wider context.

You will also develop your planning and research skills as well as gain knowledge of how history, culture, philosophy and even human behaviour can be influenced and even changed by powerful literary texts, non-literary texts and spoken language.

Essentially, whenever you need to persuade, inform or connect with someone, English Language and Literature is your best friend.

What can I do with it?

A thorough understanding of English Language and Literature is essential for any job that involves written or oral communication; writing factually or imaginatively and being able to respond critically to any text – fiction, non-fiction and non-literary fiction.  These opportunities are as varied as:  advertising, marketing, writing, journalism, teaching, law, media and design, performing arts and business studies.

Subject combinations

English Language and Literature pairs well with every subject.  Students’ language skills and range of perceptive and illuminating vocabulary gained when studying English improve and assist studying all other qualifications. Students’ understanding of language choices in all forms of communication, factual and persuasive writing, and even the essence of how we use language will be the perfect companion to all other subjects.


After-school sessions dedicated to expanding and cementing your knowledge of the course. Opportunities to watch theatre productions, poetry recitals, films and join a book club.

What will I study?

English Language and Literature is studied in four components:

  • Comp 1:  Poetry and Prose, studying a wide range of poetry considering the influences of contextual forces; linking these poems thematically and comparing them to other forms of writing or communication.  You will study Alice Walker’s inspirational novel, The Colour Purple, and be introduced to a wealth of cultural influences.
  • Comp 2:  Drama, studying the American classic, Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the English classic Shakespearean comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.
  • Comp 3:  Non-Literary Fiction, studying everything from how radio and television commentators use language to inform and persuade their audiences, to transcripts of monumental world events.  You’ll also study the first non-literary fiction text, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and become immersed in the investigation to catch two real-life, cold-blooded killers.
  • Comp 4:  Non-examination assessment offers you the opportunity to read novels in your favourite genre (everything from Gothic horror to satire, and crime in between), writing a comparative essay and then writing your own literary non-fiction and fiction pieces in your chosen genre.  A great chance to see how you could become a famous writer or journalist!

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