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English Literature A Level

Languages, Literature and Culture

Languages, Literature and Culture
Languages, Literature and Culture
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title GCE A Level in English Literature
Code ELIAY20
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Do you enjoy reading in your spare time? Do you find analysing novels, plays and poetry interesting and satisfying?
On our English Literature course, you will study themes, character, motifs, setting, textual structures and narrative methods. You will learn how to identify and comment on writers' uses and effects of language, form and structure.

Your lessons will be varied and diverse and will include question and answer sessions, writing essays, exploring the meaning created in texts, watching DVDs, creating displays, independent research and extracurricular activities such as watching texts in performance and guest workshops. You will develop skills in communication and teamwork as you work together with your classmates in pairs, small groups and whole-class discussions and debates.

Working independently on reading and writing projects outside the classroom you will study prose texts linked by theme or context, drama and poetry, including at least one play by Shakespeare. You will also focus on literary criticism and discuss the different ways readers interpret texts.


This course is ideal for you if you enjoy reading in your own time, analysing novels, plays and poetry and finding out more about writers and their times. Learning methods vary and include discussion, debating issues, writing essays, exploring the meanings created in texts. We also watch DVDs, create displays, carry out individual or group research.

  • Year 1: You will study one modern text, one play by Shakespeare, and some poetry. You will also study prose texts (novels) and extracts which will be linked to a literary ‘topic’ such as American Literature, The Gothic, Women in Literature, The Immigrant Experience. You will learn to identify and comment on writers’ uses and effects of language, form and structure and to link this to relevant aspects of context. This includes the fascinating ways literary texts both reveal and challenge attitudes and values of the cultures in which they were produced. 

  • Year 2: You will study a further text for your literary topic, a pre-1900 play and two further modern texts. In Year 2 there is even more emphasis on making connections between texts, understanding influences of context and carrying out your own research into areas which interest you. This means that familiar aspects of literary study such as theme, character, motif, setting, structure, narrative methods will be covered in greater depth.  

There is a variety of extra-curricular activities, including theatre trips to the Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company, conferences, poetry readings and visits to museums such as the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge.  

How will it be delivered?

Assessment will be 80% examination at the end of the second year and 20% coursework. 

Entry requirements

At least 7 grade 4s at GCSE in a range of subjects including maths; grade 5 in English language and grade 5 in English literature if taken at GCSE level.

Your next steps...

The study of English Literature at this level can lead to a range of careers, such as journalism, publishing, media, teaching and creative writing.

Some of the degrees being taken by students who recently completed their course are English Literature at Sheffield, American Studies at Manchester, Fashion Journalism at University College for the Creative Arts, English and Philosophy at Birmingham, English and Creative Writing at Lincoln, and Intercultural Communication with Business Management at the University of East Anglia. 



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