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English Literature


This is a challenging and thought-provoking course that gives students the opportunity to develop their interest in and enjoyment of literature across the centuries. Students will develop their skills of literary analysis, as well as their ability to write in a structured and coherent way. Students will be encouraged to compare and reflect on texts from a range of genres, including poetry, prose and drama. Skills of independent learning, discussion and creative writing will be promoted.




Unit 1: Aspects of Narrative

(2 hour exam)

This unit will be assessed by an examination that requires students to compare the methods that a range of modern and pre-twentieth century writers use to construct their texts and the different ways in which readers can respond to them. Four texts in total will be studied: two prose pieces and a selection of writing from two poets.


Unit 2: Dramatic Genres

This is a coursework unit that will involve the study of two plays from the genre of tragedy. At least one of these texts will be a Shakespeare play. Students will then produce two pieces of assessed coursework on these texts of between 1200-1500 words.



Unit 3: Texts and Genres

(2 hour exam)

This unit will be assessed by an examination that will focus on one of the following topics, either Gothic or Pastoral Literature. Candidates will study at least two texts of poetry, prose or drama, at least one of which will have been written between 1300-1800.

Unit 4: Further and Independent Reading

This is a coursework module that requires students to produce a portfolio of two pieces of work. One piece will be a comparative study of an aspect of two texts of the candidates' own choice. The second piece will be a theory-based analysis of a text from a pre-released anthology. Each piece of writing will be 1200-2000 words in length.



An Advanced Level in this subject provides an excellent foundation for a wide variety of university courses, including English Literature, Law, Medicine, Psychology and Media Studies, and an even larger number of careers in the areas of creative arts, media and teaching.



Students who wish to study this subject will normally achieve A* to C grades in a range of subjects at GCSE and should attain B grades in English Literature and English Language.