English Literature

A level English Literature explores the works of famous writers, allowing you to develop your own ideas and interpretations of some of the most notable novels, plays and poems of all time.

Previous students have analysed and compared various texts such as Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong's to gain a strong understanding of the writer's motives and methods.

Studying English Literature will enhance your skills in analytical thinking, research and writing, enabling you to demonstrate these abilities to universities and future employers.

This A level is great to study alongside A level English Literature and A level Sociology.

When will I start the course and how long will it take?

All A level study begins in September and will take two years to complete.

What will I study?

During this A level, you will study a range of literature from Chaucer to present day on the subject of 'love through the ages' and either pre or post World War 2 literature.

Texts previously studied include:

  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Taming of the Shrew and Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway
  • Journey's End by R.C. Sherriff
  • Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Wherever possible, you will attend theatre performances to enhance your understanding of these texts.

Other forms of literature including poetry and additional contextual and interpretational elements will also be included.

You will be encouraged to engage with the texts, identify with characters and gain a comprehensive knowledge of the author's motives and methods.

How is it assessed?

You will be assessed by examinations at the end of year 13 and a non-examined assessment of texts.

Do I need any previous qualifications to start this course?

You should have five GCSEs at grade 4 (equivalent to grade C) or above, including maths and a grade 5 in English (equivalent to grade B).

What are the course fees?

If you are a school leaver, aged 16-18, (under the age of 19 on or before 31st August 2019), you do not pay tuition fees or examination and registration fees and may be eligible for additional support depending on your financial situation. For more information, please visit our dedicated Financial Support page.

What can I go on to do once I have completed this course?

At the end of this A level, you will have developed your intellect, analytical thinking and writing skills, which are crucial when choosing to progress on to university and enter employment.

This A level extends across a wide variety of career pathways from media, journalism and publishing to law, teaching and business.

Ref: Kate Coffey

Inspiring Success


“The A Level Academy was a place where I was able to challenge myself, be independent and explore my capabilities.”

A levels in English Language, English Literature and History

Read Ellie's full story

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