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English Literature A Level

(Stand-alone AS available)

The syllabus followed and outlined below is Edexcel. It is a text-based course which focuses on both classic and modern literature. From 2015 this course is linear . To achieve the full A level all exams/coursework will be completed in Year 13. A stand-alone AS is available at the end of Year 12.

> Component 1 Drama

Study of two plays (at least one by Shakespeare) and a collection of critical essays relating to tragedy or comedy.

(Assessed by 2 hour exam – 30% total qualification)

> Component 2 Prose

Study of two prose texts from a chosen theme, at least one must be pre 1900.

(Assessed by 1 hour 15 exam – comparative essay – 20% of total qualification)

> Component 3 Poetry

Response to an unseen poem AND study of poetry from a literary period or by a named poet.

(Assessed by 2 hour exam – 30% total qualification)

> Coursework Free choice of two texts from any genre(s)

One extended comparative essay referring to two texts.

(2500-3000 words, internally assessed)

Examination arrangements

As outlined above. In addition, students may sit a stand-alone AS level at the end of Year 12, by sitting component 2 and a hybrid paper from components 1 and 3 (One drama question based on a play studied / One question responding to poetry).

Recommended support materials and revision guides

At the start of each year of the course, students are encouraged to purchase their own copies of the texts to facilitate note taking. Any study guides purchased should be recommended by the teacher as they can be of variable quality and value to the students.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 and above is preferred (which must include English and English Literature)


What can I do after I’ve completed the course?

You can apply to do a degree in a wide range of subjects, such as English, Journalism, Media and Communication Studies or Law. You can also apply for a job with training in the public and voluntary sectors. By studying Literature you will become expert at reading and responding to a wide variety of texts; at interpreting, analysing and gathering and assessing evidence; and at working independently and creatively. In the real world, including the world of work, we are bombarded with texts; the skills that you will learn, therefore, including those of powerful and effective communication, are highly valued by employers.

English Literature – Transition material

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