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English Literature

Level: A level Examination board: Edexcel Specification: A level 9ETO; A2 (9ETO)

Advanced level English Literature provides the opportunity to study a wide range of texts - including poetry, prose and drama - from different periods. As well as the literary texts, students will read supporting material to develop their understanding and appreciation of different writers, periods and genres. The course will help them to develop the valuable transferable skills of essay writing, critical analysis, sustained research and independent study.

Students are encouraged to develop their own interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies. They will have the opportunity to:

  • Read widely and independently, studying the set texts and others they have selected for themselves.
  • Engage creatively and critically with a range of texts.
  • Develop and apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation both in speech and writing.
  • Explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others' interpretations of them.
  • Deepen their understanding of the changing traditions of literature in English.

Year 12 course outline

Students will study poetry, drama and prose.

  • Poetry: a selection of poetry from an anthology of post-2000 poetry, Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the
  • Forward Books of Poetry 2002-2011.
  • Drama: a play from the prescribed list (either tragedy or comedy).
  • Prose: two novels from a chosen theme.

Year 13 course outline

Students will study poetry, drama, prose.

  • Poetry: a selection of post-2000 poetry (see AS course outline); and a literary period or a named poet within a literary period; revise poetry from Year 12.
  • Drama: one Shakespeare play and one other drama from either tragedy or comedy; and critical essays related to the Shakespeare play; revise drama text from Year 12.
  • Prose: two novels from a chosen theme
  • Coursework: two texts linked by theme, movement, author or period. The texts may be selected from poetry, drama, prose or literary non-fiction.

Opportunities beyond the classroom

The A level course will be supported by a number of events depending on availability such as: theatre visits, study days, exhibitions, Sixth Form literary conferences.

Course requirements (GCSE grades/interests)

Students are expected to achieve grade 6 in English Language and English Literature at GCSE or IGCSE. An interest in reading, literature and the theatre is beneficial.

Assessment structure

Advanced level students will complete three examinations at the end of two years (Paper 1: Drama; Paper 2: Prose; Paper 3: Poetry).

Higher education courses linked to the subject

A good command of English is essential for success in all the professions and a good Advanced level grade will be required for those wishing to study English at university. English Literature can be studied as a single subject in higher education or it can be combined with a wide variety of other subjects. It can also provide a good foundation for degree courses in related subjects, for example: creative writing, journalism, media, drama and history.

Careers linked to the subject

Similarly, a wide range of careers such as writing, journalism, advertising, publishing, teaching, marketing, public relations, and arts administration would use the skills acquired in studying English Literature.

The school is considering the introduction of an English Language/Literature course. If this is of particular interest to you please contact the Head of English for further details.

Get in touch

For more information contact the Head of Department.

Name: Mr Jamie Gardner