English Literature A-Level

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

Oscar Wilde


Why study English literature?

A-Level English literature is an ideal choice for anyone who loves reading and is interested in the big questions affecting human existence. It is also a highly respected A-Level that can be instrumental in helping students gain university places in a variety of subjects, not just English. Students will gain a great deal of academic prowess through a subject that promotes the development of transferable skills.

English students are taught to think analytically, consider different interpretations and listen and respond to one another sensitively in preparation for the seminar-style environment they are likely to find at university. One of the most important skills they learn is how to write coherently and critically. This is an essential skill that will aid them in their other subjects and is invaluable in higher education and the world of employment.

What will I be learning about?

We follow the new specification for the AQA English literature A-Level syllabus and study a variety of texts from different areas of the literary canon. In year one students will cover a range of literature from different genres under the theme of love through the ages. This will include watching, reading and discussing Othello by Shakespeare, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and poetry by pre-1900 writers such as Blake, Donne, Hardy, Keats and Marvell. In year two students will progress to explore texts in the context of World War 1 and its aftermath by, again, exploring a range of genres. Texts will include Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and Journey’s End by R.C. Sherriff.

How will I be assessed?

English literature A-Level is assessed through a combination of examinations and non-exam assessment, which will be an independently produced response comparing two texts of the individual student’s choice.

Where will this lead?

As well as being a respected A-Level in its own right, the study of English literature could lead to careers in various industries including: journalism, advertising, broadcast media and, of course, teaching.

What are the entry requirements?

Eight grade 9-4 at GCSE level A minimum of a level 5 must be achieved in English literature or language.