English Literature

English Literature

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English Literature A Level


Who is this suitable for?

  • You love reading and want to learn more about a wide range of literature.
  • You enjoy thinking about some of life’s biggest questions.
  • You express your opinions well – both in speech and in writing.
  • You want to keep your options open for further study – English Literature is a popular qualification for a wide range of courses in higher education or for future careers.

What will I learn?

  • A Level English builds on the knowledge and skills acquired at GCSE. You will learn new concepts and approaches to literature and will gain a deeper insight into the way writers craft their work.
  • Across the two years, you will study:
    • Two Shakespeare plays: ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and ‘Othello’.
    • Collections of pre-1900 and post-1900 poetry.
    • Five prose texts: ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan, ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood and ‘Revolutionary Road’ by Richard Yates.
    • One modern drama: ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams.
  • You will also have the opportunity to complete an independent study project. This module gives you the freedom to choose your own texts to compare, and essay questions to respond to, allowing you to pursue your own literary interests and deepen understanding of your chosen area.

How will I be assessed?

  • All core texts are assessed in formal examinations. There will also be unseen elements to each exam.
  • The Independent Study unit is assessed in a formal coursework essay.

What other subjects go with English Literature?

English Literature can be studied alongside a number of other subjects. It works particularly well with other arts subjects, including History, Theology and Philosophy, Politics and French.

Where could it lead me?

Students with A Level English Literature have a wide range of possible higher education or career opportunities open to them. The course helps to develop a keen eye for detail, a deep understanding of and appreciation for the written word, and the ability to analyse and evaluate ideas in depth.

There are many job opportunities open to students with an A Level in English Literature, including:
  • Writer
  • Publisher
  • Journalist
  • Teacher
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Film and TV
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“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.”

René Descartes