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English Literature

If you enjoy reading and discussing literature, you will enjoy this course. You will gain a detailed understanding of a broad range of poetry, prose and drama, while developing different critical approaches which can be used in reading and analysis. It is therefore essential that you are prepared to read independently.

Students starting an English A Level will be embarking on a linear course which means that all exam units will be assessed at the end of two years.

  • Course Outline
    • We follow AQA English Literature B and the course is as follows:

      • Two exams – 80% of A Level
      • One coursework unit – 20% of A Level
      • Study of the three main literary genres: prose fiction, poetry and drama

      Unit 1 – ‘Aspects of Tragedy’ (2.5 hour exam)

      In this unit students will study the key features of the tragic genre and learn how to apply them to a broad range of drama and poetry. Students will also learn how the genre has changed over time with detailed analysis of the following texts:

      • ‘Othello’ William Shakespeare
      • ‘Death of a Salesman’ Arthur Miller
      • A selection of poetry by John Keats

      Unit 2 – Elements of Social and Political Protest Writing (3 hour exam)

      In this unit students will study the key features of social and political protest writing and learn how to apply them to a broad range of poetry, prose and drama. Students will also learn how writers respond to key contexts such as global politics, gender, race and class through detailed analysis of the following texts:

      • ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini
      • ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen and
      • A selection of poetry by Tony Harrison

      Unit 3 – Theory and Independence (non-examined assessment)

      In this unit students have the opportunity to work independently on a project, but with guidance from their teacher.

      • Students will produce a coursework folder consisting of two 1,200 – 1,500 word essays with texts and questions chosen by them.
      • One essay will respond to a prose text and the other poetry.
      • Students will study a range of critical approaches such as feminism, Marxism and post-colonialism and will choose an approach to use in order to write their essays.
  • Career opportunities and further study
    • English is a core subject and as such a valuable A Level for any student considering an academic course at university. Many students who do A Level English go on to study degrees in English, History and Law as well as various subjects relating to the media/creative industries, the social sciences and education.

      English is also highly valued by employers; the subject’s core skills, such as written/oral communication, writing for different audiences and purposes, prioritising information and analytical interpretation, are essential in most workplaces.

  • Trips and Events
    • The English department have several trips and events throughout the year, including visits to the theatre and universities.

  • Useful Links

Entry Requirements 2024

You can view provisional entry requirements for courses that start in 2024 from the link below. Please note that your enrolment on to a particular course must be approved by the Head of that department.

Subject Entry Requirements

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