Language is an inherent part of the world around us, from the way it is used in an advert to the writing of a script for a blockbuster movie. Explore the use of words in different contexts with this course and gain skills essential for many jobs and further study. You'll learn about the way written language works by analysing fiction and non-fiction. You'll see how writers use language in different ways to influence the response of their readers. You'll use these methods in your own writing too to entertain, inform and persuade. Full details of the course can be found below.
Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.
Are you intending to take your exams next summer? Please refer to our information on fast tracking and studying your course within one year.
This course is one of our new Gold Star GCSEs. Find out more about them here.
Hours of study
As a guideline, you should allow for between 120 and 150 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.
Exams and assessment
- 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks
- 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks
Non-exam assessment (NEA):
- You will have the opportunity to take an additional non-exam assessment (NEA) to demonstrate your skills in spoken language, including presenting, responding to questions and feedback, and use of standard English. This assessment is separately endorsed. It will be reported as a separate grade and will not contribute to the result of the GCSE qualification. Please refer to this page for more detailed information about how to take your NEA through NEC.
All exams must be taken in the same session.
NEC's tutor-marked assignments:
- 1 introductory assignment
- 9 assignments
This course is entirely self-contained so no additional textbooks are required. Learners may find the following titles useful for additional support:
- AQA GCSE English Language: Developing the Skills for Learning and Assessment, Blackhouse, H. and Emm, B., Oxford 2015
- AQA GCSE English Language: Assessment Preparation for Paper 1 and Paper 2, Branson, J. and Ellison, P., Oxford 2015
- Oxford A-Z of Better Spelling, Buxton, C., Oxford 2013
- Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation, Seely, J., Oxford 2013
Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:
- Windows 7 or later
- Mac OSX 10.7 or later
- Google Chrome OS
- Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
- iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser
- Google Chrome (latest version)
- Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
- Safari 6 or later
- Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)
learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.
How to enrol
How to enrol
There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
- Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above
- Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team
- Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.
How can you pay?
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.
Amount of credit:
Duration of agreement:
Rate of interest:
0% APR representative.
The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.
Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.
Section 1 - Creative reading (Part 1)
- Prose fiction texts
- Language effects
- Setting, context and atmosphere
- Looking at characters
Section 2 - Creative reading (Part 2)
- Narrative voice and narrative viewpoint
- Openings and endings
- Aproaching Paper 1 Section A
Section 3 - Creative writing (Part 1)
- Descriptive and narrative writing
- Describing settings
- Describing characters
Section 4 - Creative writing (Part 2)
- Narrative writing
- Using dialogue
- Approaching Paper 1 Section B
Section 5 - Writer's viewpoints and perspectives: Reading (Part 1)
- Inference and interpretation
- Viewpoints and perspectives
- Synthesis and summary
Section 6 - Writer's viewpoints and perspectives: Reading (Part 2)
- Comment and analysis
- Comparing writers' ideas
- Approaching Paper 2 Section A
Section 7 - Writer's viewpoints and perspectives: Writing
- Audience, purpose and form
- Planning your response
- Writing your response (Part 1)
- Writing your response (Part 2)
- Approaching Paper 2 Section B
Section 8 - Preparing for the exam (Paper 1)
- Practice Paper 1
- Guidance on Practice Paper 1
Section 9 - Preparing for the exam (Paper 2)
- Practice Paper 2
- Guidance on Practice Paper 2
What our students say...
"Distance learning is interesting and the tutors are fantastic. I am pleased with the services. Follow the guide given by the college; everything is very easy and stress-free."
— Thomas Mangazira