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English Literature: A Level (Facilitating)

Course Specification

English Literature is the close analysis of different literary forms – prose, poetry and drama. Studying literature allows involves exploring the deeper meaning in texts and the methods used by writers to shape and convey their meaning, yet it is about so much more:

  • We study the historical and social context of texts in order to better understand the writer’s views and attitude or the reasons behind the ways in which characters have been constructed;
  • We also consider the influence of historical, cultural and social perspectives on a reader or audience, or the influence of current affairs on the perception of current readers or audiences;
  • We debate sociological issues, such as relationships and people’s treatment of others;
  • We explore the psychology behind the character’s motives and behaviours;
  • We create competent arguments as well-structured academic essays.

English Literature supports its students in developing such a broad skill-set, it compliments many subject choices or career paths and is highly desirable to both Universities and employers


Component 1 - Poetry (30% of A Level) 2 hour exam

Section A - Poetry pre-1900

John Keats: Selected Poems

Section B: Poetry post-1900

Philip Larkin: The Whitsun Weddings & Carol Ann Duffy: Mean Time

Component 2 - Drama (30% of A Level) 2 hour exam

Section A: Shakespeare - ‘King Lear’

Section B: Drama - John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi &

Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire

Component 3 - Unseen Texts (20% of A Level) 2 hour exam

Section A: Unseen Prose: 1918-1939.

Section B: Unseen Poetry

Component 4 - Coursework (20% of A Level) 2500-3500 word essay

Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea & Ian McEwan: Chesil Beac

entry criteria

5 A*-C GCSE grades in any subject and Level 4 in English.


As detailed above, component 1, 2 and 3 are examinations, component 4 is coursework.

trips & visits

Regular Theatre Trips: Jane Eyre and Dr. Faustus last year.

Screenings: RSC production of King Lear at Waterman’s and Jane Eyre this year.

higher education

If you love, or even just like, reading, then you should choose English Literature and you should think about doing an English Literature degree at University. English Literature is also an important facilitating subject for many degree courses and for many top universities.

The only question asked in EVERY Oxford interview is "What is your favourite book?"


As this course teaches you how to think deeply and how to write, English Literature is relevant preparation for almost all professions. It might be especially useful if you are interested in becoming a Journalist, a Teacher or a Lawyer.

Which teachers should I talk to about this subject?

Ms Downton