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About the course

If you love reading literature and want to understand how world-famous writers have crafted their work, then this course is perfect for you. We examine a range of plays, poetry and prose texts in depth, debate interpretations and discover new and interesting meanings. We explore the social, political, historical and cultural contexts and examine how language can offer a variety of meanings. The texts that are chosen for study are connected through a mainstream literary genre. The focus for Paper 1 is the universal theme of ‘Love Through the Ages’, and for Paper 2, ‘Texts in Shared Contexts’ – how does an author create, and an audience interpret, a text according to time and place.

Entry requirements

A minimum score of 5 from 7 GCSEs to include English, Maths, and science along with four other GCSE grades or equivalent (not including short courses or Citizenship). See Subject Requirements Guide for details.

GCSE English Literature at score of 5 or above.

How much does it cost?

Free to those aged 16-18

There is a range of financial support that you may be entitled to, including: Learner Support funds, grants and bursaries and employer support.

You will be expected to pay for stationery and textbooks.

Awarding body


Why study?

The study of literature reveals how people make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of the world. It prepares students to deal critically and logically with subjective, complex, imperfect information. Literature prepares students to weigh evidence sceptically and consider more than one side of every question thus making it an essential subject when preparing for higher education.

This course is designed to help students in every field in building skills in academic study, writing and critical reading. The course is designed to allow you to take ownership of your learning and develop your creativity and analytical skills. The ongoing support you will receive will motivate you to aim and achieve higher.

Where will this course take me?

Many learners studying English Literature go on to higher education to study a related course or a course that utilises the fundamental skills developed.

Top five graduate destinations:

  1. Education
  2. Wholesale and retail
  3. Information and communication
  4. Professional and scientific
  5. Accommodation and food services

Key areas of employment

English graduates are employed in a wide range of sectors, and are well placed to gain highly sought after jobs requiring excellent communication skills, writing, or undertaking research. Key areas of employment include:

  • teaching
  • journalism and publishing
  • marketing communications
  • public relations
  • advertising
  • digital media
  • arts administration
  • business management
  • film and television

Core modules

PAPER 1: Theme – Love through the ages

DRAMA – Othello – William Shakespeare

PROSE – The Awakening – Kate Chopin

POETRY –Anthology of Love Poetry Through the Ages: Post 1900

EXTRACTS – Two unseen poetry extracts to compare

Written exam: 3 hours           

75 Marks

40% of total A level

PAPER 2: Theme - Texts in shared contexts  

Option 2B- Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the present day

PROSE – The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

POETRY – Feminine Gospels – Carol Ann Duffy

DRAMA – A Streetcar named Desire – Tennessee Williams

EXTRACT – Unseen Prose post 1945

Written exam:

2 ½ hours

75 Marks

40% of total A level

Independent Critical Study: Texts across time

Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900 (this will be a taught text: A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen)

One extended essay and a bibliography

2500 words 20% of total A Level

How will I be assessed?

  • Short essay questions
  • Long essay questions
  • Presentations and discussion
  • Critical and Creative pieces

Will I have to provide anything?

Extra reading material for the preparation to the unseen text question in the exam

What should I do now?

Call 01279 868100 and talk to an Admissions Adviser
Ask Us a question about this course

Funding Your Course

If you're aged 19 or over and you want to study A Levels, an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3 to 6 Vocational Qualification, you could be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.