English Literature develops skills of critical analysis, close reading and effective communication of concepts.

Overview

The English Literature A level course requires students to: read widely and independently, self-selected and set texts; engage critically and creatively with texts and ways of responding to them; develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation;


Board: Edexcel
 

explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others' interpretations of them; and undertake independent and sustained studies to deepen their appreciation and understanding of English literature, including its changing traditions.

Course Structure

Teaching begins in September (January for 18 month courses). In the first year you will cover the following topics:

Prose and Drama
  • Selection of poetry from a post-2000 text
  • One chosen drama from a prescribed list (either tragedy or comedy)
Prose
  • Two prose texts from a chosen theme. At least one of the texts must be pre-1900
 

Students may take the AS exam at the end of the first year. The second year then builds on this foundation for the completion of the full A level. In the second year you will focus on the following topics:

Drama
  • One Shakespeare play and one other drama, tragedy or comedy
  • Critical essays related to Shakespeare play
Prose
  • Two prose texts from a chosen theme. At least one text must be pre-1900
Poetry
  • Poetic form, meaning and language
  • Specified range of poetry from either a literary period or a named poet

Exam Structure

AS Exam Format

Component 1 Component 2
Poetry and Drama.
2 hours
Prose
1 hour
 

A2 Exam Format

Component 1 Component 2 Component 3
Drama
2 hours and 1 minutes
Prose
I hour
Poetry
2 hours and 15 minutes
Non-exam assessment
Extended comparative essay using two different texts not otherwise covered. Internally assessed, externally moderated.

English Literature One-Year A level

The board, format and content are the same as the two-year programme, but the course is covered in the space of one year.

 

Programme Requirements

Students are normally required to have at least grade C in English Language and English Literature or equivalent.

Related Further Study and Careers

English literature opens up a wide range of university and career options. Seen as a facilitating subject by universities, this discipline develops the knowledge, skills and understanding that will be required for many undergraduate programmes including English Literature. In addition, it prepares students well for many other essay-based degree courses. The analytical and literary skills acquired are attractive to employers in a wide range of fields.


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