English Literature A Level is a credible, exciting and challenging subject to study. As one of the Russell Group facilitating subjects, the qualification carries a great deal of weight with universities and employers, whatever your degree subject. A good grade in A Level English Literature says a number of valuable things about you: that you are a clear, concise communicator; that you are able to analyse and evaluate complex information and re-present it to others; that you add to your other skills a fascination for words, culture, ideas and history. It is important to realise that A Level English Literature does not merely set you up for Journalism, Publishing or Teaching. Many Maths, Science and Business graduates have found that A Level English contributes well to their analysis and communication skills.
At Highsted, we follow the Edexcel/Pearson A Level course. It offers the rigour and challenge that suits our students, as well as a degree of flexibility and choice, so that teachers can match their expertise and interests to the programme followed. In the first year of the course, students will study two dramatic texts: Shakespeare’s Hamlet and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Also in the first year, with their other teacher, students will read fiction texts such as Beloved by Toni Morrison and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. In Year 13, we’ll be looking at poetry (Christina Rossetti, as well as some very recent works) and writing an extended coursework essay, probably focusing on F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
GCSE grade 6 or above in English and English Literature.
It is essential to have a genuine interest in literature, to be able to express ideas clearly and effectively on paper and be willing to undertake extensive and personal research outside the classroom. Students must be prepared to read challenging set texts and manage detailed, well-written responses.