English Literature A-Level

Course Overview

Entry Qualifications

In addition to the standard College entry requirements (see below) this course also requires students to have achieved grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Entry to the second year is dependent on the standard achieved in the first year.

What will I study?

The first year involves the study of the following:

• Shakespeare: ‘Hamlet’

• Drama and poetry pre-1900: Coleridge ‘Selected Poems’

• Webster: ‘The Duchess of Malfi’

• NEA (coursework) close reading OR re-creative writing piece with commentary: Thomas Hardy: ‘Selected Poems’

The second year will include:

• Comparative NEA (coursework) comparing Tennessee Williams’s ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ with a post 2000 novel of your choice.

• Comparative and contextual study from a topic area: DYSTOPIA

  •    Margaret Attwood: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale
  •    Ray Bradbury: ‘Fahrenheit 451’

How will I study?

An English lesson is one in which ideas are shared and views about texts are thought through and discussed. We consider the contexts, purposes and audiences which shape texts. You will need to listen to others thoughtfully and be prepared to discuss your own views. You will be expected to read and write extensively, both in lessons and independently. It will be necessary to read the set texts several times.

How is the course examined?

You will sit two exam papers at the end of the second year (each paper is 40% of the A level) and complete two pieces of NEA (combined, these are 20% of the A level).

Where next?

Students who have successfully completed English Literature A-level go on to study many different disciplines at university. Students who read for English degrees similarly enter a wide number of professions, such as law, teaching, marketing, the media, accounting and banking. There is an increasing need in commerce, industry and the professions for people who are accomplished communicators, and the best preparation for this is the study of English.

What does the course combine well with?

English Literature combines well with subjects such as English Language, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages, Theatre Studies, Art, Philosophy, Business Studies, Economics, Law, Mathematics, Media Studies, Sociology and Psychology. It also makes a good third subject for students studying predominantly science courses.

College Entry Requirements

We normally expect applicants to have achieved good GCSE passes in at least six subjects, these must:

• demonstrate the suitability for Advanced Level study

• have been achieved at Grade 4/C as a minimum

• include two at Grade 5/B as a minimum

• include English Language – a minimum grade of 4/C

Mathematics – If not achieved within the scope of the above should normally be achieved at grade 3/D. If mathematics is not achieved at grade 4/C then it will be a requirement to continue to study at the correct level until a grade 4 is achieved. Subjects with a mathematical content will require a higher grade.

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