English Literature A LEVEL

‘English Literature deepens your appreciation of literature and is brilliant if you love reading and debating.’

Course Detail

English Literature has long been acknowledged as a highly valuable and prestigious A-Level; it is formally listed as a Facilitating Subject for Russell Group Universities. The English Literature course allows students with a passion for reading and analysing poetry, fiction and drama to study texts from the 16th century to the present day, their contexts and their critics in a deep analytical fashion. Students are exposed to the study of:

  • The works of Shakespeare
  • Poetry and drama pre-1900 for example Christina Rossetti, Coleridge, Ibsen, Webster or Wilde.
  • a thematic coursework topic on modern literature: topics include ‘war through time’, ‘invasion’, ‘the city’ or ‘time’.
  • Contextual study of genres, for example, ‘Dystopia’, ‘Women in Literature’, ‘The Immigrant Experience’ or ‘the Gothic’.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed at AS Level in the summer of your first year. This will be in the form of two closed book terminal examinations where you will write four essays across three hours and 15 minutes total examination time.

In the summer of your second year you will be assessed at A-Level. This will be in the form of two terminal closed book examinations where you will write four essays across five hours total examination time. You will also produce a coursework essay worth 20% of your final grade.

Additional Entry Requirements

  • GCSE English Language or Literature: 6 (and grade 4 in the other)
  • GCSE Maths: 4

These requirements are in addition to the general entry requirements.

All A-Level courses are two year courses. You will sit the AS exams at the end of Year 12 and the

A-Level exams at the end of Year 13. Although the AS grade will not count towards your final

A-Level grade, you will need at least a grade D at AS to succeed on this course in Year 13.

Where can this course take me?

This subject prepares you for the art of essay writing at university and is highly valued by admissions officers in all subjects where you will write essays as part of your course. Careers including teaching, law, journalism, acting, publishing, theatre production, TV production, advertising and public relations are just some of the options open to those studying English.