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English Literature

Entry requirements

5 in GCSE English Language

What will I study

Throughout history the great obsessions of humankind have been explored in the form of literature. Issues of love, death and the meaning of life are ingrained in the very fabric of the novels, poems and plays featured on this course.  Students study texts representing a range of periods, from the renaissance to the 20th century, and learn the value of critical and analytical approaches.

How will I be assessed?

You will sit two exams.  Both will be at the very end of year 13. The exams give you the opportunity to ‘explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives.’

Paper 1: Love through the ages (3 hours)

There are three sections in Paper 1 and you need to answer one question from each section.

Section A is on Shakespeare and is closed book.

Section B is on unseen poetry

Section C is a comparison between the two other texts and is open book. This means you can take your books into the exam; however, they must not be annotated.

Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts (2 hours 30 minutes)

There are two sections in Paper 2. You need to answer one question from Section A.  In section B there is one question on an unseen extract and one question linking two texts.

Section A is on the set text .

Section B Question 1 is on an unseen extract, Question 2 is linking two texts.

The whole exam is open book. This means you can take your books into the exam; however, they must not be annotated.

Is this subject for me?

Discussion is central to the course, as is the development of distinctive and thoughtful responses to text. Students need to have an enthusiasm for language and creativity in every form, and willingness to debate.

Where can this lead me?

Students naturally progress to university courses following A-level English Literature, the qualification would stand you in good stead to take an English degree or degrees in journalism, politics, business and teaching.

Employment opportunities would be any career path that requires higher levels of communication, such as journalism, local authority, librarian, teaching (including teaching English as a foreign language) and publishing.

What else is there?

There are opportunities to visit universities and engage with undergraduates and academics teaching on English Literature courses. There are often productions of Shakespeare locally and in London, which give students the chance to explore how the texts are interpreted for the stage.

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