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A-Level English Literature Level 3 | GCE AS Level in English Literature A

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This course is designed to cover a range of key texts - exploring Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Forster, Alice Walker and Carol Ann Duffy - the aim being for you to discover a wide range of diverse writing and to enable you to hone your skills with regards to essay writing and research. You will learn through class discussion, which will involve reading ahead and presenting your ideas. You will need to have a genuine interest in literature.

In this course you will study the following.

Year 1:

  • The unit is focused on ‘love through the ages’
  • You will be studying Othello, The Great Gatsby, pre-1900 poetry and preparing for unseen prose texts

The exam:

  • Paper 1 is 1 hour 30 minutes, closed book (Othello and poetry)
  • Paper 2 is 1 hour 30 minutes, open book (The Great Gatsby, A Room with a View (TBC), unseen prose)

Year 2:

Paper 1 – Love through the ages (40%)

  • Othello
  • Pre-1900 poetry
  • Essay question on two unseen poems

Paper 2 – Modern times (40%)

The A-level option is a two-year course which looks at the same books mentioned above, but then goes on in the second year to study modern times (post-1945 literature).


  • Poetry: Feminine Gospels (Duffy)
  • Novel: The Color Purple (Walker)
  • Play: All My Sons (Miller)

(All of the above TBC.)

Coursework element (20%):

  • A comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must be pre-1900
  • Extended essay of 2500 words plus a bibliography

The exam:

  • Paper 1 – 3 hours, open book
  • Paper 2 – 2 hours, open book

How will I know how I am doing?

Year 1:

  • Two exams, both 1 hour and 30 minutes

    Year 2:

  • Two exams, one 3 hours and one 2 hours
  • One NEA (coursework), 2500 words plus bibliography
  • What do I need to join?

    To study this course, you will need five GCSEs at grade 4–9, including English and Maths.

    Previous work

    Work Experience

    You will be required to do a minimum of 36 hours of work experience. This is usually completed in a week during your first year in term time, where you will have the opportunity to explore a career field which takes your interest. In the lead-up to this week, you will be asked to create an exciting CV during a group tutorial period. The aim of this activity is to give you an idea of what full-time employment is like and to help you think about which career you would like to follow.

    What can I do next?

    English literature is a subject which teaches you how to analyse texts. As a result, a number of our students combine this subject with courses such as law, business and economics. Many of our students progress onto university either to study this subject further or to study one of the aforementioned subjects. It is a diverse qualification that will help you achieve an analytic and evaluative mindset, which is essential in fields such as journalism, publishing, data analysis, research and the media.

    Apply for this course

    course information last updated: Friday 22nd October 2021 @ 8.30am (1 day ago)

    Full time Prospectus

    Full time 2021

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    AvailabilityOur Full-Time Further Education courses commence in September each year. If you can't find what you're looking for or require further assistance, please contact our Admission team 01453 761165 or email [email protected]

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