an introduction to English literature a-level

A brief overview from our A-level teachers.

What does it involve?

English Literature A-level sees students studying diverse and sophisticated texts, exploring both the themes and literary devices employed. Studying the influences of the contexts of literature is important to the appreciation of Literature at A-level and the consideration of critical interpretations and ideologies provides a framework for developing solid debating skills.

Both a modern drama text and a Shakespeare play are analysed, so there are plenty of opportunities for theatre visits during the two-year course. The course also incorporates the study of contemporary poetry and a comparative study of novels from different historical periods, as well as a non-examined unit which can be tailored to the interests of the individual student.

A-level English Literature involves extensive and intensive discussion and debate, in addition to opportunities for in depth independent study.

During the two year course, students will be offered a range of enrichment activities such as a Creative Writing Club, Book Club, public speaking opportunities and theatre visits.

How is it assessed?

Coursework contributes up to 20% of the final grade and gives students the opportunity to explore texts from a more personal perspective. The remainder of the marks are awarded across three papers which explore poetry, prose and drama.

Which skills or qualifications do I need?

Students will require a Grade 6 at GCSE in order to study English Literature at A-level.

University or employment prospects?

English is a valued qualification for a wide range of university courses. Studying English fosters many skills including independent working, organisational skills, the ability to articulate and lead discussions and the ability to think creatively. Many English graduates pursue careers in law, management, research, consultancy, media, politics, publishing, journalism and the creative industries