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English Language A Level


A level English Language

Look at the English language with fresh eyes, as you deepen your linguistic analysis skills and explore language use in a variety of situations and contexts in our A level English Language online course.


Multi-buy A levels:

Purchasing more than one A level? Use voucher code ALMB10 to receive 10% off at checkout.

How different is the language we use to write advertising copy versus an academic essay? Why do people interpret exactly the same text in so many different ways? This course will provide you with a valuable set of skills to look at some of the potential answers to these questions, and many more!

From political speeches and song lyrics, to cartoon strips and food labelling, studying A level English Language online will introduce you to a rich set of resources and styles of writing. You’ll gain a deep understanding of the terminology and grammar that underpins the English language, building your  understanding of how and why language works in the way it does.

Why study English Language?

Our A level English Language online course explores a range of fascinating topics, including Spoken English, Language and Gender and Language Change and Diversity. Through this course you’ll look in detail at both spoken and written language, as you build a thorough understanding of semantics, grammar, text organisation, the hidden meanings of language and lexis.

You’ll also apply your knowledge in context through a detailed study of English language, which examines how other influences such as power and technology reshape the way we use language.

Our English Language A level course is ideal if you:

  • Are keen to study English at degree level.
  • Would like to gain a deeper understanding of the English language in context, and the rules that underpin how we use the spoken and written word.
  • Are looking to boost your independent thinking skills in preparation for higher education.
  • Want to improve your written and spoken English in your personal or professional life.
  • Enjoy expressing your opinions on how we communicate.
  • Want to understand how and why children’s language skills develop in the way they do.

Future opportunities

  • Studying English courses at university.
  • A wide range of rewarding career paths in fields such as communications and marketing, teaching, editorial roles, journalism and media, publishing and writing.

Course content

Section 1: Methods of language analysis

  • The language of every day
  • Putting language in its place
  • The science of language study
  • Meanings and representations
  • Structure and style

Section 2: Spoken English

  • Your linguistic fingerprint
  • The language of speech and the language of writing
  • Planned speech
  • Permission to speak
  • Broadcast talk

Section 3: Language and power

  • Where power lies
  • Influential power in language
  • Instrumental power in language
  • Linguistic power at work
  • Language which embraces, language which conceals

Section 4: Identity and non-standard English

  • What is a dialect?
  • Dialect and region
  • Dialect and identity
  • Attitudes to dialect
  • Language development and the role of technology

Section 5: Language and gender

  • A woman’s place
  • Difference
  • Dominance versus difference
  • Gender and particular identities
  • Man-made language

Section 6: Original writing (NEA)

  • The frameworks of fiction
  • Different voices
  • Writing non-fiction
  • News values
  • Planning, drafting and commenting

Section 7: Early child language acquisition

  • The foundations of child language acquisition
  • Language and learning
  • The earliest years
  • Towards communicate competence
  • Looking outwards

Section 8: Reading and writing

  • Literacy in the curriculum
  • Pre-literacy
  • Learning to read
  • Learning to write
  • Understanding genre

Section 9: Language change and diversity

  • The past is another country
  • New words
  • New meanings
  • Attitudes to change and diversity
  • Englishes

Section 10: The language investigation (NEA)

  • Choosing your focus
  • Launching your investigation
  • Organising your data
  • Making sense of your data
  • Concluding and reflecting on your investigation

Study A level English Language with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Our exam booking service
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students


Choose when and where you access your course, using learn@nec our 24/7 learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform includes interactive checkpoints, quizzes and activities to help you evaluate your progress.

Your tutor

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners.

Meet Kath who is just one of our first-class English tutors:

“I have had the privilege of supporting students in their study of English for the past 23 years and have been a Lead Tutor for NEC’s English Language courses for the past decade. I have a degree in English Literature and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Leeds and have been an examiner since 1999. I have held various leadership positions, including Head of A level English and Head of Pastoral Support at a large secondary school, and Outreach Coordinator and Teaching Mentor at a large secondary school in Leeds. Beyond the classroom I play the fiddle in a ceilidh band, cycle, run, and attempt to grow vegetables.”

What you need to know

Exam board

  • AQA 7702


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor


  • Complete at your own pace
  • Approx. 250-300* hours plus time for completing assignments

*The specification suggests that 300 hours is needed. You’ll also need time to complete assignments and prepare yourself for exams and some courses like English literature involve a lot of reading. Everyone is different so it’s impossible to say with certainty how long a course will take you, but you should expect to spend longer than 300 hours. Taken across the length of time we recommend, this equates to approximately 5 hours per week. This will increase if you choose to take it over a shorter time frame or may be less if you are retaking a subject and have covered a lot of of the course content.


  • 11 assignments (one introductory) – these do not contribute towards your final grade


  • No additional set texts required


  • There are some recommendations you may wish to refer to for additional reading
  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system and browser to support learn@nec

What's included?

Our course fees are clear and transparent to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • 24/7 access to learn@nec platform and resources
  • Expertly designed online course materials (including ebook versions of textbooks where specified) that you need to complete the course
  • Support from our Student Services team
  • Structured assignments carefully designed to prepare you for exams
  • Guidance from your tutor for up to 24 months from your date of enrolment
  • Extensive feedback to all assignments that will support your learning
  • NEA (coursework) marking and authentication
  • Marking for one examination paper (from a previous year)
  • Guaranteed exam place
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner template to help you plan your study timetable
  • Information on how to apply for exams

Your course fee does not cover:

  • Any fees in relation to exam entries or assessments
  • Centre Assessment Grades (CAG) in the event of exam cancellation
  • Recommended textbooks for additional reading or set texts

If you need more support, you can purchase:

  • Online tutorials – if you need help with a specific topic you can arrange a 30 minute or 1 hour tutorial
  • Additional past paper marking – to help with your exam preparation
  • Revision tutorial –  to plan your revision and explore revision techniques
  • Help with your UCAS application service

For further information on additional/optional support you can purchase, please visit our additional services page.

Related blog posts

Exams and assessment


Exams (two):

  • 40% of marks  (2 hours 30 minutes)
  • 40% of marks  (2 hours 30 minutes)

Non-exam assessment (NEA):

  • one coursework task (20% of marks)
  • part of the A level assessment for this specification
  • NEC has agreed with the awarding body that our own tutors are able to mark your NEA work*
  • you can then sit your written exams at one of our partnership exam centres

*You will need to complete at least four NEC assignments before the tutor can start looking at your NEA work. The deadlines for completion of these and other elements of the NEA will be available on learn@nec.

Additional support if you’re under 18

We know that our younger students often need an extra helping hand with their studies. In our experience learning online works best when either a parent or guardian are involved. This is why NEC has developed our unique Progress Tracker to help you to support your child.

NEC’s Progress Tracker will allow you to easily track your child’s progress across their subjects and gain insight to how well they are doing through access to their assignment grades and tutor feedback.  

Read more about how we work with young students who are studying at home or through a school.

Arrange a callback with a member of our Course Advice Team.

Would you like to talk to our Course Advice Team about the best route for you? Visit our Contact Us page, fill in the form and a member of the team will get back to you!