English Literature

Entry requirements

Grade 5+ in both English Language or English Literature

What will I study

Throughout history the great obsessions of humankind have been explored in the form of literature, and 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 written exams at the end of year 13, and this accounts for 80% of your overall grade. You will also write an independent non- exam assessment, worth the final 20%, in which you choose the texts to focus on and even create your own question.

Paper 1: Love Through The Ages (3 hours)

Section A: Shakespeare's 'Othello'

Section B: Unseen poetry on broad theme of Love

Section C: A comparative analysis of 'The Great Gatsby' and  an anthology of pre-released Love poetry

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

Section A: Analysis of one set text in isolation (The Handmaid's Tale; Top Girls or Feminine Gospels)

Section B: Unseen prose on post-1945 text

Section C: A comparative analysis of two set texts (The Handmaid's Tale; Top Girls or Feminine Gospels)

Is this subject for me?

Students will have curiosity and enthusiasm for literary debate. They will probably be interested in many aspects of popular culture and like reading, but more than this, they will like thinking and talking about how writers have crafted their texts, through the ages, to convey their ideas.

Where can this lead me?

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

Employment opportunities would be any career path that requires higher levels of communication, such as in the heritage sector; media; politics, teaching 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 theatre productions locally and in London, which give students the chance to explore how the texts are interpreted for the stage.

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