Introduction to the Course
This course gives students a thorough grounding in the canon of English literature. It develops analytical skills, understanding, evaluating and communication. It develops an awareness of our rich literary heritage and links with the cultural and historical influence on English literature.
Students are expected to read widely as an essential part of their learning. It is also vital to read literary criticism to inform their responses to texts. It goes without saying that students following this course should have a love of literature and enjoy reading for pleasure.
Students are expected to purchase their own texts which range from Shakespeare to Modern Literature.
Standard entry requirements and at least grade 6 in either GCSE English Language or English Literature. It is also preferable that students enjoy reading.
Course Content and Assessment
AS Level (One-Year Course)
Component 1: Unseen Poetry and Drama – 2-hour examination (60% of total AS Level)
Section A – Unseen Poetry: one essay question on an unseen modern poem. Modern poetry will be studied in preparation for this.
Section B – Drama one essay question. The drama selection is mainly modern with some pre-1900 drama available.
Component 2: Prose – I hour examination (40% of total AS Level)
Two prose texts from a chosen theme will be studied. At least one prose text must be pre-1900.
The choice of themes are: Childhood; Colonisation and its Aftermath; Crime and Detection; Science and Society; The Supernatural; or Women and Society
A Level (Two-Year Course)
Component 1: Drama – 2 hours and 15 mins examination (30% of total A Level)
Two drama texts are studied. One Shakespeare play plus one other drama text either tragedy or comedy.
Component 2: Prose – 1 hour examination (20% of total A Level)
Two prose texts from a chosen theme. One text must be pre-1900, one may be modern. (see AS list for the themes available)
Component 3: Contemporary Poetry 2 hour and 15 mins examination (30% of total A Level)
A range of poetry from a literary period or a range of poetry from a named poet. Two essays, one will be comparative.
Component 4: Coursework (20% of total A Level)
A free range of two texts may be studied. 2500 – 3000 words. Different texts must be studied from those in component 1, 2 and 3.
The A Level examination components account for 80% of the total marks awarded.
Future Career Progression
History and Art are particularly compatible with English Literature, especially with the new AS/A Level syllabus. Students following Maths and Science courses also benefit by demonstrating the diversity of their interests and skills.
Communication skills are vital for any managerial post. The ability to express oneself clearly in both written and spoken English is the hallmark of a professional person. Journalism, the law, the media, education and medicine are all career paths which an advanced qualification in English could help the student embark upon.