Congratulations to all students gaining University places to study languages and related disciplines! These are the 2021 A-Level combined results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and separate information for the Scottish Advanced Highers:

In French, overall numbers taking A-level in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are up very slightly from 8,263 in 2020 to 8,383 this year. The numbers getting A or A* are up from 54.4% to 60.3%.

In German, overall numbers are down slightly in England, Northern Ireland and Wales from 2849 in 2020 to 2708 in 2021. The numbers getting A or A* are up from 58.7% to 67.7%.

In Spanish, overall numbers are up in England, Northern Ireland and Wales from 8,707 in 2020 to 9,139 in 2021. The numbers getting A or A* are up from 54.3% to 63.2%.

There was a slight increase in students taking languages other than French, German, Irish, Spanish and Welsh from 4,928 in 2020 to 5,256 in 2021. The numbers gaining A or A* rose from 73.8% in 2020 to 82.1 in 2021.

In the three languages for which figures are readily available, Spanish remains the most popular language with French numbers going up slightly and German numbers going down slightly compared to last year. Numbers taking other languages have risen slightly and it is particularly rewarding to see the numbers of male linguists increasing slightly over last year in all languages except German.

Scottish Advanced Highers: 

Numbers taking French in the Scottish Advanced Highers went up slightly from 574 in 2020 to 591 in 2021 and the percentage gaining A went up from 59.4% to 60.1%.

In German, numbers also rose, from 106 in 2020 to 143 in 2021 with 67.1 % gaining A as opposed to only 49.1% in 2020.

Numbers taking Spanish remained almost the same at 463 in 2021 as opposed to 464 in 2020 with 60.9% gaining A as opposed to 53.9% in 2020.

In the other languages where statistics were available, numbers taking Chinese language went down slightly from 61 in 2020 to 59 in 2021 with 86.4% gaining an A in 2021 as opposed to 90.2 % in 2020 and in Italian numbers went up from 27 to 33 in 2021 with 90.9% gaining an A in 2021 compared to 70.4% in 2020.

UCML are delighted to see so many young linguists being awarded top grades for their hard work, and extend a very warm welcome to all new students joining the vibrant UK HE languages community.


The Scottish web source for exam results is the Scottish Qualifications Authority

The Welsh/ English / NI results are published by JCQ – Joint Council for Qualifications

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