Welcome to the English Department


GCSE English at NUAST

Students follow the AQA GCSE English Language, and  AQA GCSE English Literature courses at NUAST.

In preparation for the Literature GCSE, students study a play by Shakespeare, a modern play script, a collection of poetry, and a 19th Century novel.

For English Language, students look at a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts which span the 19th, 20th and 21st Century, as well as learning the skills required to write for different audiences and from different perspectives.

The two GCSEs follow a holistic model, with all exams taken at the end of Year 11. The skills required for both GCSEs prepare students to read and comprehend texts, scrutinise and critique writer’s methods and craft, communicate effectively and with authority, and widen their knowledge of literary texts. 

In addition, students undertake a Speaking and Listening endorsement. Whilst not part of the GCSE grade, students receive a separate award for an individual planning and preparation task.



Exam Board: AQA  2 year course – AS/A- level


  • 80% Examination
  • 20% Coursework

In Year 12, students explore representation in texts and the variations of English in Gender, Occupation, Society and Region. Students will be exposed to a huge variety of texts and theory and they will be expected to develop their language skills to be applied in any situation or for any form of text. Paper 1 consists of two text examples of English language in use, this could be nearly any practical form or purpose. They must then explore representation in each before comparing the two. Paper 2 asks students to use data to comment on how an aspect of language variation is shown. This will be followed by a journalistic task where they have to address their knowledge of language variation alongside a given stimulus.

Year 13 will expand on the learning of Year 1 and the content in exams will reflect this initially. Students will expand their knowledge to consider Childhood Language Acquisition and Language Change. There is also a Controlled Assessment element where students conduct a research project into an aspect of language use, as well as producing a text following a language style and exploring this in commentary. The papers are similar to Year 12 with the addition of language acquisition to Paper 1 and Language Change in Paper 2. The content is also harder and students are expected to progress in their understanding of topics from Year 12.

What do I need to study this course?

NUAST Standard Entry Requirements and a Grade B in GCSE English.

Career prospects?

This A Level would give a solid foundation for a degree in English Language or Linguistics, and can also lead on to a range of careers, including journalism and teaching.

June 2018


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