Why study A Level English Literature? 

Studying English Literature at A Level will give you the opportunity to read widely, critically and independently across centuries, gender and genre. The course encourages the enjoyment of literary studies founded on an informed personal response to a wide range of texts. It will enhance your understanding of the different ways authors convey meaning and how they comment on the issues of their times and influence us as readers. The analytical skills you will develop will be of great value to you in all other subjects.

How will I be assessed?

Unit 1 is a 2½ hour exam which has three sections:

A passage based question on a Shakespeare set text; an essay question on a Shakespeare set text; and an essay linking two further texts, one of which must be a drama text and the other pre-1900.

Unit 2 is a 3 hour exam which has three sections:

A question on an unseen passage; an essay question on a set text; and an essay question connecting two further set texts. One of the texts must be post-2000, another pre-1900 and the final text must be poetry.

Unit 3 is coursework, where students write two essays of between 1,250 and 1,500 words each, focusing on different texts and different aspects of critical theory.

You will be expected to display your ability to successfully analyse writers’ techniques, literary devices and use of language while conveying an excellent understanding of the whole texts themselves and the themes and issues presented by the authors. You will also be required to effectively compare the use of language and the different intentions of writers from different time periods.


Grade 6 in English Language and English Literature

What skills will I gain from studying English Literature?

Studying English Literature will assist you in developing insightful, creative and sophisticated critical skills that will enable you to analyse a broad range of texts in real depth. It will also allow you to enhance the sophistication of your written work, improve your essay writing expertise and attain effective research skills. Your lessons will encourage you to enrich your ability to present an argument, engage in debate and to discuss your responses to texts as a group. You will be expected not only to develop your own independent opinions but also to consider and respond to the views of others while doing this.

The coursework element at A Level will allow you to write more independently and with a reasonable degree of autonomy regarding subject matter. You will also make informed decisions, analyse data and evaluate your findings.

Where can English Literature lead?

English Literature is a very well respected A Level which many degree courses find an attractive attribute in prospective students. It is a broad and relevant subject which will allow you to pursue a diverse range of career options such as Journalism, Law, Advertising, Publishing, Marketing or Teaching.

Additional Comment

By studying English Literature at A Level you will develop a diverse range of skills that will help you in all walks of life. This subject is a great stepping stone to many degree courses. An English Literature A Level is usually a requirement if you want to be accepted to study an English degree.

What will I study?

Unit 1:               Literary Genres/Tragedy – Exam

Unit 2:               Texts and Genres/Crime Fiction – Exam

Unit 3:               Theory and Independence – Coursework

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