York College

Who is this course aimed at?

This is a widely recognised qualification that is often needed for employment or further training.

Some qualifications will start with an introductory course to build your confidence, check your starting point and build your basic skills.  

Entry Requirements

Students should be able to demonstrate that they have the commitment and motivation to complete the course and a grade D/3 in English GCSE or Functional Skills Level 2, or you can come in for an assessment and we will be able to advise you on the best course for you.

Dates and Times

Daytime and evening courses are available. Most are 2.5 hours per week.

Course Length

Most courses start in September 2019.

For late starters, there is an evening course that starts in November (3 hours a week). Fast track courses start in January. These are 5 hours a week, either one full day or 2 evenings).

All courses finish at the end of May 2020.

Course Content

During the course you will read, write about and discuss:

A range of literary fiction texts for Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing.

A range of non-fiction texts, which might include autobiographies, biographies, diaries, letters, travel writing and leaflets for Paper 2: Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives.

The course is designed to develop competence and confidence in speaking and listening, reading and writing. This is achieved by encouraging you to play an active part in your learning. To this end there will be a wide range of tutor-led, whole class, small group and individual activities designed to help you improve your writing and reading skills.

GCSE English courses include a Spoken Language assessment, which takes the form of a presentation in class and responding to questions and feedback.

The course encourages active reading. This enables you to be aware of the ways in which writers use language for different effects. Besides the work in class, you should plan to do at least another hour or two of personal study. Some of this will involve reading short stories, novels, newspapers, magazines or anything else that will help you become more familiar with the different styles of writing and use of language, regularly used by the professionals.

Teaching Method(s)

The course encourages active reading. This enables you to be aware of the ways in which writers use language for different effects. There will be a range of work in class, including discussions, group work and individual work, with an equivalent time spent on personal study and homework, including using online resources.

Exams and Assessments

Two 1 hour 45 minute exams.

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing.
Paper 2: Writers' viewpoints and perspectives.

Each paper consists of section A (reading and analysing language) and section B (extended writing question).

These are usually in the first week of June (dates to be confirmed).


GCSE English Language (AQA)


Many of our students go on to Access to HE or other Level 3 courses, for the purpose of retraining or studying at university.

Course Fees

If you have not previously achieved a Grade C/4 or higher in GCSE English Language, the course is fully funded, with no cost to you, with the exception of adults currently on a higher education course.

If you are resitting to improve on a Grade C/4, you will be liable to pay a fee.

How to Apply

If you wish to study this course you do not need to fill out an application form, simply call our Admissions Team on (01904) 770397 or visit our friendly team of advisors in the InfoZone, located behind the main reception desk.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this course or any aspects of studying at York College please email info@yorkcollege.ac.uk or call (01904) 770770.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.


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