A Level English Literature
Why Study This Subject?
You’ll already know, from your GCSE studies, some of the appeal of literature.
You’ll know that it can move you and make you more aware of your own and others’ experience, and that it leads you to face some of the big moral and philosophical issues. Studying literature at A Level will take you further into the exploration of some of the most interesting fiction, poetry and drama of modern times as wellas that of the past. You will explore the ideas expressed in literature but also study the craft of writing and how writers use literary techniques to create meaning.
Perhaps most importantly of all, you’ll become aware that the way you react to a text may not be same as the way others do, and you’ll be expected to consider why that is. That’s why class discussions and disagreements are an important part of your learning. As well as seeing plays on video and on stage, you will also be given a general reading list from which we hope you will read widely. You will always be encouraged to think and work independently.
We are proud of the success of our students, on all three of our courses, both in terms of their examination results and the personal satisfaction they derive from their studies. A Level results in English Literature have remained well above national averages, year on year. Our students go on to sought after places at the most competitive universities every year.
Topics you will cover
The specification is linear and entails a two year programme of study. The assessment consists of two examined units accounting for 80% of the marks for the qualification; coursework accounts for the remaining 20%.
You will study a range of literary texts including poetry, prose and drama from different historical periods complemented by works of literary criticism. You will study a Shakespeare play such as Twelfth Night or The Tempest and a selection of pre-1900 poetry by the poet Rossetti. You will also study two novels reflecting either the Gothic genre or the theme of dystopia. The coursework concentrates on contemporary literature: a drama text such as Alan Bennett’s History Boys or Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, alongside a collection of contemporary poetry and a modern novel.
Grade 5 in GCSE English Language
It is important that you are interested, motivated and not afraid to work hard. We will do the rest.