5 A*-C GCSEs, including a grade B in English Literature.


You will develop your understanding and knowledge of the ways in which writers shape meanings in texts, the ways in which individual texts are interpreted by different readers, including over time, the ways in which texts relate to one another and to the contexts in which they were written, the ways in which texts relate to literary traditions, movements and genres and the significance of cultural and contextual influences on readers and writers.


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What will I study?

You will also be introduced to the discipline of advanced literary studies. You will read the major literary genres of poetry, prose and drama, and there will be opportunities for you to develop areas that specifically interest you.

This A Level includes at least three texts published before 1900, including at least one play by William Shakespeare and at least one work first published and performed after 2000.

Why study English Literature?

If you are someone who enjoys reading and discussing your ideas, then English Literature is for you.

We aim to encourage independence of thought and taste, which normally appeals to students who love nothing better than a good argument. You will be expected to read the six texts on the AS course independently, so you need to be prepared to get started on the novels as your summer reading before you start year 12.


For the A Level course, the assessments are as follows:

Literary genres: this is a paper lasting 2 hours 30 minutes which is worth 40% of your grade.

Texts and genres: this paper lasts 3 hours and is worth 40% of your grade. Theory and Independence: this coursework module is internally assessed and is worth 20% of your final grade.

Where will this course lead me?

You can go on to university to study English literature at degree level, or another related or unrelated subject.

The Russell Group of top universities list English Literature A Level as one of their ‘facilitating subjects’, those that are considered academically rigorous and good preparation for degree level work.

As such, it is a great course to support an application for higher education, but it can also be very useful for the world of work. It is often a requirement if you are considering law, English, theatre or creative writing at university, but is also highly recommended as preparation for business, humanities and language- based degrees.

English Literature is useful for a variety of careers, the most obvious of which are journalism, law, publishing, teaching and business management. Yet, on top of all this, the communication and analytical skills gained are easily transferable and are appreciated in many different occupations.