calendar-icon Jun 12, 2023

Post By Adam G

Why Study A-level English?

The decision of which subjects to pursue at A-level is difficult for even the most determined of students. At this point in the year, when the dust from GCSE exams has finally settled, students of all interests and abilities must reckon with their potential and make a choice that will define the course of their lives. The importance of this decision cannot be understated; nor can the importance of considering the merits of each subject on offer. 
When evaluating A-level subjects, there are six crucial factors to consider: 

  • Does the subject offer any valuable skills?
  • Does the subject offer good career prospects?
  • Does the subject have academic value?
  • Does the student enjoy the subject?
  • Does the student have the ability to thrive in the subject?

Let’s apply these factors to A-level English!


English A-level is hugely beneficial for the development of critical thinking skills. Whereas the harder science subjects are generally fact-based, English is largely skills-based, involving the interpretation and reconstruction of historical texts in any number of different ways. 

By virtue of their extensive reading lists, English students tend to be highly articulate, with a broad vocabulary and deep cultural awareness. They are often perceptive and skeptical readers who can identify the flaws in complex arguments and calibrate their own responses in an ordered and stylish manner. 

Career Prospects

Although English A-level is not a strictly vocational subject, English graduates operate in all walks of life. A facility with language and rhetoric can easily lend itself to law, marketing, government, PR, consultancy, journalism, business, and consultancy –to name but a few possibilities! 

Academic Value

Not only is English A-level well respected by universities and higher education institutions more generally, but it may complement different subjects. Plenty of students pursue English alongside the likes of Maths, Physics, and Chemistry to ensure that their experience of A level is well rounded and equips them with the skills to take on a variety of projects later in life.


Enjoyment of a subject always depends on the individual, but it is well known that English, which turns on storytelling and the competition between ideas, is a hugely popular choice among students from all walks of life. 
Many students take great pleasure in the interpretive freedom and independence that English A-level encourages. The mark scheme is relatively flexible, rewarding those students who develop personal opinions on complex texts and incorporate materials from outside the core reading. 


As with enjoyment, a student’s ability to succeed at A-level English depends entirely on their own character. While there are some who take to English like a fish to water, there are those who find the absence of rigid guidelines and objective rules quite frustrating.
Primarily, a student can gauge their ability at A-level English by reflecting on their experience at GCSE English. On top of that, it is clear open-minded, perceptive, and curious students have no reason not to thrive at English A-level. 


A-level English is as relevant and valuable a subject as any other. As well as honing essential critical thinking skills and encouraging students to become independent thinkers, it presents students with a world of opportunity for later life. 




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