Why study English?
Language and literacy are of personal, social and economic importance. Your ability to use language lies at the centre of the development and expression of your emotions, thinking, learning and sense of personal identity.
This course gives you the opportunity to develop skills in listening, talking, reading and writing, which are essential for learning, life and work. You will develop your ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings and respond to those of other people.
The skills that you develop in English are useful in a wide range of careers; these include teaching, editorial, journalism, administration, legal work or in the arts.
To see what career areas this subject could lead to and the routes to get there, download and view these career pathways:
What do I need to get in?
Entry is at the discretion of the school or college, but you would normally be expected to have:
What will I study?
The course consists of two areas of study.
Analysis and Evaluation
You will develop listening and reading skills in the contexts of literature, language and media, and the skills needed to understand, analyse and evaluate detailed and complex texts.
Creation and Production
You will develop talking and writing skills in a wide range of contexts, and the skills needed to create and produce detailed and complex texts in both written and oral forms.
How will I be assessed?
The course assessment has four components totalling 100 marks:
- Component 1: question paper (Reading for understanding, analysis and evaluation) – worth 30 marks
- Component 2: question paper: Critical reading – worth 40 marks (consisting of 2 sections each worth 20 marks, section 1 – Scottish texts, and section 2 – Critical essay)
- Component 3: portfolio (writing) – worth 30 marks
- Component 4: performance (spoken language) – no mark allocation – graded as achieved or not achieved.
For the portfolio component, you will produce two different texts: one broadly creative, and one broadly discursive.
Both the question papers and the assignment are set and externally marked by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
The performance component will be set and marked internally by your school or college and externally verified by the SQA.
The grade awarded is based on the total marks achieved across course assessment.
The course assessment is graded A-D.
- SQA Past Papers English Higher
- SQA Specimen Paper (Reading for understanding, analysis and evaluation) Higher
- SQA Specimen Paper (Critical reading) English Higher
- SQA Understanding Standards English
- BBC Bitesize English Higher
What can I go on to next?
If you complete the course successfully, it may lead to:
Further study, training or employment in:
- Arts, Social Sciences and Languages
- Communications and Media
- Teaching and Classroom Support
Which jobs are related to this subject?
Where can my parents find out more?
Your school will give your parents an Options or Choices information booklet, which has detailed information on the curriculum and the individual subjects or courses you can study. It will also invite them along to a Parents’ Information Evening.
They can also read the information leaflet(s):