English Literature
Type: A Level
Entry Requirements: Two Bs and three Cs in five subject areas at GCSE to include a minimum of a grade 4 in Maths, English Language and English Literature. However, due to the new GCSE grading, we do recommend that you are working towards at least a grade 5 in both Maths and English Language
Start Date: Sept 2017
Length: 2 years
Course Overview

The study of English Literature allows students to develop strong analytical skills by covering a range of texts across different genres, centuries, and from authors of various backgrounds, ages and genders. If you love reading and seek to understand the messages within a text, you will enjoy this A Level.

English Literature will allow you to study some of the best loved texts from the greatest renowned authors, poets and playwrights throughout the ages. You will study a range of texts, from traditional literature and poetry to new and very exciting literary examples from our own time. In addition, you will learn how authors use language to create meaning and you will explore the social, cultural and historical contexts within which the books were written.

What will I learn?

Unit 1: Drama and Poetry Pre-1900
In this unit you will study a play by Shakespeare as well as drama
and poetry from a range of other writers from the 17th, 18th and
19th Centuries. These might include: Oscar Wilde, Christopher
Marlowe, John Milton and Christina Rossetti.

Unit 2: Comparative and Contextual Study
In this unit you will compare how different writers from different
periods have explored the same theme. The themes for debate
will include; American Literature 1880–1940, The Gothic,
Dystopia, Women in Literature and The Immigrant Experience.

Unit 3: Literature Post-1900
In this unit you will explore a range of contemporary authors,
looking closely at the language of poetry and the theme of
education in literature.

How will the course be assessed?

Unit 1: Examination at the end of the second year
Question 1 will focus on Shakespeare and Question 2 will compare and contrast a playwright and a poet who explore similar themes.

Unit 2: Examination at the end of the second year
Question 1 is a close analysis of a passage of literature while
Question 2 is a comparative essay on themes in two of the texts studied.

Unit 3: Non-examined component
This coursework folder is made up of two essays; a close analysis of poetry and a comparative study of a novel and a play. You will complete this towards the end of your first year of A Level.


You will study in modern classrooms with interactive learning technology, and will have access to up-to-date resources.


Materials and other information

You will be offered a range of enrichment activities, including trips and visits. Details of the cost of these will be provided as they are planned.

Progression and Careers

An A Level in English Literature offers excellent university progression due to the highly analytical nature of the course. Former students have gone on to study at some of the UK’s top universities, including the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester, Lancaster University, Durham University, the University of Glasgow, the University of Leicester and the University of Sheffield.

They have gone on to read interesting subjects including English Literature, Anthropology and Art History, Broadcast Journalism, Teaching and Drama.


Ready to apply?

Apply online or download an application form to become part of Nelson and Colne College.

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