English Literature, A Level
Languages, Literature and Culture
We are only accepting one application per candidate.
What will you be working towards?
||GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
This exciting and diverse A Level course focuses on Tragedy and Women and
Society, and covers a wealth of poetry, prose and drama. This course allows
the study of texts written over a very broad time period, and encourages
students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts
within which they are written. The profound and emotive subject matter of
these texts provides for stimulating and meaningful discussion and study. It
is hoped that students will develop an interest in and enjoyment of English
Literature, through reading widely and through experiencing an extensive
range of critical material. Independent reading and study is essential in
allowing students to contextualise the texts studied. Consequently, the A Level
course encourages candidates to develop as informed, independent readers
and critics of literary texts.
• One Shakespeare play and one other drama from tragedy.
• Critical essays related to the selected Shakespeare play. Students’
preparation is supported by Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology – Tragedy.
• Two prose texts from a chosen theme (Women and Society) – Tess of
The d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
• Written examination, lasting 1 hour stay.
• A selection of post-2000 specified poetry and a specified range of poetry
from: a literary period (either pre- or post-1900) or a named poet from
within a literary period.
How will it be delivered?
Component 2: Prose - 20% of the total qualification.
• Open book – clean copies of the prose texts can be taken into the
Component 3: Poetry - 30% of the total qualification
• Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes.
• Open book – clean copies of the poetry texts can be taken into the
• Section A – Post-2000 Specified Poetry: one comparative essay question
on an unseen modern poem written post-2000 and one named poem
from the studied contemporary text.
• Section B – Specified Poetry Pre- or Post-1900: one essay question.
Coursework - Internally assessed, externally moderated – 20% of overall marks
• Students have a free choice of two texts to study.
• One extended comparative essay referring to two texts.
• Advisory total word count is 2500–3000 words.
Minimum grade 5 or above in English GCSE
Your next steps...
Through studying English Literature, students will gain a plethora of key skills,
which will support both further education and employment opportunities.
This course complements many other Advanced Level courses, due to the
wide range of opportunities provided to develop both your analytical and
communication skills. An A Level in English Literature could lead onto higher
education in a variety of areas, including journalism: creative writing, teaching,
or the media. Moreover, as English Literature is so highly regarded, it would be
an excellent subject with which to demonstrate your abilities and knowledge
to a prospective employer.