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English Literature

Level 3

Qualification: A Level

Duration: 2 years

What will I study?

Are you passionate about reading? Do you love to look closely at texts, analysing exactly what ideas are being explored and how the language works? Studying English Literature at A Level will allow you to study some of the most interesting fiction, poetry and drama of both past and more recent times. You will be able to discuss and consider the ideas expressed in several texts as well as the literary techniques that writers have used to create their messages.


You will study at least 8 texts including prose, poetry and drama across the course as a whole. In addition, you will be prepared for examination on an unseen text in the genre of poetry. Coursework will be part of your final grade too (20%) and you will complete a 3000 word comparison of two novels.


The first year of the course will focus on:

1. Poetry – Modern post-2000 poetry

2. Drama – Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello

3. Prose – A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini


In the second year, the course will extend and develop your knowledge and understanding of the three key forms of literature:

1. Prose – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

2. Drama – A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

3. Poetry – Selected poems of John Keats

Coursework will be prepared in the first year and completed in the second.

Study Visits

Theatre visits are strongly recommended.

Trip to Haworth (Bronte Parsonage) optional but strongly recommended.


Normally no more than £15-£20 per visit.


Paper 1 – Drama (30% of your A level grade)
Paper 2 – Prose (20% of your grade)
Paper 3 – Poetry (30% of your grade)

Plus Coursework (20% of your grade) – internally assessed by your teacher and externally moderated.

Entry Criteria

Grade 5 English Language. Grade 5 English Literature (if taken).

Useful Supporting Courses

This subject fits almost with any combination of subjects. It goes well with A levels such as English Language, Foreign Languages, History, Sociology, Film Studies or Media.


This A level course will open doors to careers in a wide range of professions: journalism, public relations, advertising, publishing, marketing, theatre and teaching,
amongst many others. The course is also a good A Level if you are considering professional areas such as architecture, law, local government and the civil service.

Culture Vulture

Check out our Culture Vulture link to see what takes your interest.

English Literature Culture Vulture

Flying start

Click the link and have a go at our 10-week learning plan to get you off to the best start.

A Level English Literature Flying Start Tasks

Course Overview

Follow the link to see an introduction to the course, identifying what you will study with us in the first few months and what you might already know.

A Level English Literature Course Overview