English Higher

What is special about this course?

This course aims to improve your writing and extend your knowledge of literature in prose, poetry and drama.

You will study a wide variety of non-fiction and fiction texts, developing the key skills of understanding, analysing and evaluating.  You will develop these skills both in writing and orally.  You will also have the opportunity to produce your own discursive and creative writing. 

You will explore texts such as; reference texts, reports and factual articles from journalistic texts, feature articles dealing with different points of view, persuasive texts including advertisements, biography and autobiography, letters and memoirs; formal essays and literary texts from different genres. These will include informative, expressive, imaginative and creative styles and you will study and analyse them for information and meaning.

You will also explore texts from at least two different genres such as: poetry, prose, novels, short stories, autobiography, memoirs, diary, travelogue, essays; drama and mass media.

Writing folio - For this you are required to produce two pieces of writing, one of which is broadly discursive and one of which is broadly creative. You will have the opportunity to redraft your work which will contribute 30% towards the final mark.

Entry requirements

You should have National 5 English A or B, or Int 2 A or B or standard grade 1 or 2 or equivalent.


Portfolio of Writing: 30 marks

2 pieces: one Creative and one Discursive.  Your folio will be a first draft and finished version for both the discursive and creative essays

Exam 1: Question Paper: 30 marks

Close Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

In the Reading for UAE paper, learners will answer questions designed to test their understanding, analysis, evaluation, summarising, inferencing and comparative skills. The passages will be non-fiction and previously unseen.

Exam 2: Critical Reading: 40 marks.

Scottish Text analysis and Critical Essay on a second text

There will be two sections: a section for analysis of one of the set Scottish text studied in class and a critical essay on a different text from another genre studied in class.

Performance–Spoken Language: pass/fail

Produce detailed and complex spoken language through the demonstration of talking and listening skills.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

These courses can be accessed in any of our ten college centres using blended learning: a combination of video conferencing and virtual learning environments.

How long will my course last?

9 Month

The course has 80 hrs of tuition which you are required to attend.

Where can I study my course?

    • Auchtertyre
    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Gairloch
    • Kilchoan
    • Kinlochleven
    • Mallaig
    • Portree
    • Strontian
    • Ullapool

Start date

The course will start in mid August each year and is available at all our college centres.



Costs include tutored sessions, assessments and certification at the end of the course. Learners will be expected to purchase, or borrow from a library, their own texts.


A Fee Waiver or funding of up to £200 could be available to help with payment of course fees, depending on your personal circumstances.

This support will be available for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. To be eligible, you must have income of £22,000 a year or less, or be on certain benefits.

You will also not be undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

Please contact your local college centre for more information about eligibility, or call us on 01397 874000.

What can I do on completion of my course?

After this course, there are a number of other further and higher education courses you can study. Ask us for more information.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for English Higher

I want to start in 2020/21

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.