English Literature A Level

Languages, Literature and Culture

Languages, Literature and Culture
Languages, Literature and Culture

What will you be working towards?

Code En01
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Studying English helps you to understand the world. By studying important literary works students gain an insight into the human condition and become aware of fundamental political and ideological ideas that have transformed history. English discusses the big issues that affect our lives and they encourage students to question and challenge conventional viewpoints.

English stimulates creativity. Through the study of literary texts English encourages students to express themselves creatively. Discussion and debate develop confidence and produce students that are inquisitive and open minded.

You should read widely with interest, understanding and enjoyment, think critically and independently and write cogently and lucidly. You must be prepared to set aside time outside school to read set texts and other related material. Furthermore, you must develop a responsible attitude towards the completion of written work, keeping notes and the development of files of relevant material concerning particular authors, periods and genres. Sixth Form teaching will not simply be programmed direction, but will include presentation, guidance, discussion and research.


How will I learn?

Students should have a love of English and reading with interest and enjoyment across centuries, genre and gender. This includes being able to examine prose, poetry and drama. Students will complete written essays alongside being engaged with group discussions.

What will I learn?

• how the features of prose fiction, drama and poetry function

• how writers use language, structure and form for effect

• the varied ways that texts can be interpreted by different readers

• the ways texts can be grouped and compared to inform interpretations

• the relevance of genre in relation to the particular texts studied and how texts are influenced by literary conventions

• the importance of the relationship between texts, making comparisons between texts in the light of interpretations by other readers

• the significance of the cultural and contextual influences under which literary texts are written and received

• how to analyse texts from a critical perspective

• how to respond creatively, relevantly and in an informed way to texts using appropriate terminology and concepts as well as coherent and accurate written expression

How will it be delivered?

A level English Literature is a two year course covering a range of engaging and challenging texts. All components are assessed at the end of year 13. Skills of analysis, interpretation and comparison, begun in GCSE, will continue to be developed.

The course consists of four components, three examinations and one coursework.

Component 1: Drama – 30%

• One Shakespeare play and one other drama

• Texts studied may differ from year to year. Texts studied this year are: ‘Hamlet’ and Tennesee Williams’, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

• Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes

• Open book – clean copies of the drama texts can be taken into the examination

 Component 2: Prose – 20%

• Two prose texts from a chosen theme. At least one of the prose texts must be pre-1900

• Texts studied may differ from year to year. Texts studied this year are: Bram Stoker’s, ‘Dracula’ and Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’

• Written examination, lasting 1 hour, comparing the two texts

• Open book – clean copies of the prose texts can be taken into the examination

Component 3: Poetry – 30%

• Study of poetic form, meaning and language

• a selection of post-2000 specified poetry and a specified range of poetry from:


● a literary period (either pre- or post-1900)


● a named poet from within a literary period

• Texts studied may differ from year to year. Texts studied this year are: Romantic poetry and the set post-2000 poetry Anthology

• Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes

• One question will be a response to an unseen poem

• Open book – clean copies of the poetry texts can be taken into the examination

Component 4: Coursework – 20%

• one extended comparative essay referring to two texts

• advisory total word count is 2500–3000 words

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements are 5 Grade 4 and above GCSE’s, including English and Mathematics and at least Grade 5 in GCSE English Literature.

Your next steps...

The study of English Literature can lead to a variety of Higher Education courses such as Journalism, Law and Media Studies. It is also an ideal accompaniment to many other A Level courses forming the basis of the skills of many employment sectors.