Choosing your A levels

English Literature

Introduction

English Literature A Level gives you the opportunity to study a range of great texts from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams and Philip Larkin. You will develop your ability to read perceptively, think independently and analyse closely, so that you can develop convincing arguments and express yourself in a sophisticated manner.

Board and specification code

EDUQAS- Specification Code A701QSL

Is English Literature for you?

English Literature is for students who enjoy reading, discussion and writing. Students should be ready to explore a range of challenging ideas and texts. The course delves into writers’ ideas about life, death, relationships, ourselves, God and the world around us. Students should be comfortable with writing essays.

Course content/components

  • Component 1 – Pre-1900 poetry (Donne, Milton or Chaucer) Post-1900 poetry (Larkin and Duffy)
  • Component 2 – one Shakespeare text (‘The Tempest’ or ‘Hamlet’ )and a comparison between two other plays (‘The Duchess of Malfi’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’)
  • Component 3 Unseen Paper – prose (1918-1939) and poetry texts to analyse
  • Component 4 (Coursework): A comparative essay on two prose texts (one will be post-2000)

Recommended entry requirement

At least Grade 7/A in English Literature at GCSE.

Post-A Level options

English Literature A Level is highly regarded by universities and employers as it proves the ability to think critically, to be analytical and to communicate effectively. An English degree is particularly beneficial to those wishing to enter fields such as law and journalism.

Studying English Literature at school was my first, and probably my biggest step towards mental freedom and independence. It was like falling in love with life.

Ian McEwan, Novelist