This is a varied and demanding course which prepares students for undergraduate study in either Literature, the Arts, law, journalism or the media. The overriding principles of the specification are the primacy of the written word and the importance of the Western literary canon, and there is a correspondingly serious emphasis placed upon reading, literary analysis, the awareness of different critical schools, and the centrality of private research: we expect all our Literature students to read widely, to plan and submit polished and professional written work, and to participate in class debate.
As part of this course, the texts listed below are studied. Additional materials such as specification highlights, support packs, critical reading and the Sixth Form English Guide are provided at the start of the academic year.
Year 12 set texts:
• Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002-11 (a selection of 20 poems are studied for the examination)
• The Duchess of Malfi
• The Picture of Dorian Gray
Year 13 set texts:
Revision of the above, with the addition of:
• Keats: Selected Poems
• Two coursework texts: Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and Milton’s Paradise Lost (I and II)
The full A level suite of papers is as follows:
Component 1: Drama. Externally assessed. Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes. Open book – clean copies of the drama texts can be taken into the examination. The Critical Anthology must not be taken into the examination. Total of 60 marks available – 35 marks for Section A and 25 marks for Section B. Two sections: students answer one question from a choice of two on their studied text for both Section A and Section B. 30% of the total qualification.
Component 2: Prose. Externally assessed. Written examination, lasting 1 hour. Open book – clean copies of the prose texts can be taken into the examination. Total of 40 marks available. 20% of the total qualification.
Component 3: Poetry. Externally assessed. Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes. Open book – clean copies of the poetry texts can be taken into the examination. Total of 60 marks available – 30 marks for Section A and 30 marks for Section B. 30% of the total qualification.
Coursework. Internally assessed, externally moderated. One extended comparative essay referring to two texts. Advisory total word count is 2500–3000 words. Total of 60 marks available. 20% of the total qualification.
Grade 6 in GCSE English Literature and Language guarantees a place on this course.
Please note that applicants must also meet our overall entry requirements of scoring at least a total of 42 points (simply add up all your GCSE grades) and achieve a Grade 4 or higher in both English Language and Mathematics.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in English Literature, which could lead onto higher education in English related studies or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to English Literature such as a Teacher, Journalist, Author or Poet. You could also go straight into a job as the A GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.