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English Literature

Course Content

Qualifying students will study a series of literary masterpieces that have been chosen by the school to fulfil the modules provided by the exam board (AQA): ‘Love Through the Ages’, ‘Texts in Shared Contexts’ and ‘Texts Across Time’.

The course will take a historicist approach to the study of literature resting upon reading texts within a shared context. Working from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it was produced, English Literature A-Level will encourage students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood.

There will not be a uniform list of prescribed set texts through the course but rather the A-Level will be flexible enough to play to the strengths and interests of students and teaching staff alike.

However, during the course, students will study texts both diachronically (produced across a very broad time period) and synchronically (produced within a clearly defined time period).

Students will be encouraged to explore texts in a number of different ways:

  • the study of a literary theme over time
  • the study of literature through engaging with two of the main historicist perspectives: the diachronic and synchronic
  • the study of various texts, both singly and comparatively, chosen from a list of core set texts and a list of chosen comparative set texts
  • writing about texts in a number of different ways.

Students who enjoyed their English Literature GCSE will get a lot of enjoyment out of this course – several texts will be taught over the A-Level course ranging from Shakespeare right through to Post-20th Century literature. 

Examination Details

This A-Level will be assessed via two examinations both of which are worth 40% of the final course grade.

Students will also have to complete a piece of coursework based on comparative critical study of two texts; the coursework is worth 20% of their final A-Level grade.

Career Pathways

Students with an A-Level in English Literature typically achieve careers in the following fields:

  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Education (Teaching)
  • Publishing / Writing
  • Public Relations
  • Law
  • Public Sector (Civil Service / Government)
  • Politics
Entry Criteria Grade 6 in English Literature is desired.