English Literature

If you enjoyed studying English Literature at GCSE, then this should be the course for you.  At A Level, the subject involves the reading and study of literature through the lens of genre and theory, encouraging the independent study of a wide range of literary texts    within a shared context.  It demands a much wider range of reading than at GCSE, extending your opportunities to experience and appreciate great works of literature.


What will you be learning?

This course has a distinct philosophy which centres on different ways of reading and the connections that exist between texts within a literary genre. In this way, students can gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected, and how they can be interpreted in multiple ways, in order that students can arrive at their own interpretations and become confident, autonomous readers.


Year 12

‘Love Through the Ages’

The aim of this topic area is to encourage students to explore aspects of a central literary theme (‘love’) as seen over time. Students will study four texts over the year:

· Othello by William Shakespeare

· The Awakening by Kate Chopin

· An anthology of pre-1900 Poetry


Year 13

‘Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the present day’
This topic area takes the end of WW2 as its historical starting point and explores both modern and contemporary literature’s engagement with some of the social, political, personal and literary issues which have helped to shape the latter half of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st century. Students will study three texts: one prose, one poetry and one drama text, at least one of which must be written post-2000. They will also respond to an unseen extract in the exam.


‘Independent Critical Study: Texts Across Time’
This element of the course is assessed as coursework: students write a comparative critical study of two texts. The texts chosen must maximise opportunities for comparison and allow access to a range of critical interpretations, including over time. Students will be required to take an autonomous approach to the application and evaluation of a range of critical views.


How is the course assessed?

End of Year 13:

2 x external exams – 80% of marks

Coursework tasks – 20% of marks 


Entry Requirements

Minimum grade ‘5’ in GCSE English Language & GCSE English Literature