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A Level: English Literature

Languages, Literature and Culture

Languages, Literature and Culture
Languages, Literature and Culture

What will you be working towards?

Code 6
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Why study this subject?

English Literature is a highly regarded academic subject which will help students to continue to develop their writing, reading and debating skills. Students will explore a wide range of texts (prose, poetry and drama) and will be encouraged to consider different interpretations of texts and how each text has been influenced by the historical period and culture in which it was written. Students study a broad range of classic and contemporary texts, develop analytical and comprehension skills and continue to develop their skills as expert readers and writers.

"It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature" - Henry James.

Where can this subject lead?

Students who study Literature often go on to study English Literature or another English degree, such as Creative Writing, Journalism or English Language. Students can go on to careers in teaching, the media or law.


How is this course assessed?

The course is assessed through:

-Two written exam papers-80%

-Non-Exam Assessment (Independent Critical Study) - 20%

Paper 1: Love through the Ages (40% of A-Level)

-Three texts are studied: one poetry (AQA Poetry Anthology), one prose text (Rebecca) and one Shakespeare play (Othello).

-Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based question with linked essay

-Section B: Unseen poetry: essay question on two unseen poems

-Section C: Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts

-Paper 2: Texts in Shared Context (Modern-day Literature: 1945 to the present day) (40% of A-Level)

Three texts are studied; one prose (Oranges are not the Only Fruit), one poetry (Feminine Gospels) , and one drama (A Streetcar Named Desire).

Section A: One essay question on set text

Section B: Contextual linking: one compulsory question on an unseen extract and one essay question linking the other two texts studied

Coursework: Non-exam assessment: Independent critical study (20% of A Level) This part of the course is a comparative essay of two texts of the student's choice. One extended essay (2,500 words).

How will it be delivered?


Entry requirements

Five standard passes at GCSE (at least a Grade 4). This must include at least a Grade 4 in English Language and Maths at GCSE.

Students will need to gain at least a Grade 4 in the subjects they would like to study at A Level.

Literature: requires at least a Grade 5 in English (Literature or Language).

Maths: requires at least a Grade 6 in maths.

Science Subjects:

• For those students who have studied Combined Science at least two Grade 5s will be required.

• For those students who have studied Triple Science at least two Grade 5s will be required with at least a Grade 5 in the science subject/s they wish to study at A Level.

Your next steps...

English at A Level equips you to pursue a wide range of different careers. Law, journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, broadcasting, teaching, writing, social work, the list is endless. English is a key building block in many different aspects of the work environment, and is a useful and practical A Level to gain. Many universities regard a student with a good English pass at A Level very highly. The literature course in particular enables students to read for deeper meaning and be able to decipher many different types of text. This skill is very useful in analytical job environments as well as creative ones. A successful English A Level candidate has a choice of a wealth of fantastic university courses and a huge range of exciting career options.


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