Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.! (P.J. O’Rourke) This course is for students who love reading in a range of literary texts from Shakespeare to Shelley to Steinbeck. Students will have the opportunity to read widely and independently both set texts and others they have selected for themselves. They will build upon skills acquired at GCSE, engaging critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts, developing analytical and evaluative skills. The social, historical and cultural context of texts, as well as others’ interpretations of them, will also be explored.

To read course details for English Literature please click here


Year 12 and 13 Course Content and Exam Information


Year 12 – Telling Stories (Paper 1)

In this component students will learn about how and why stories of different kinds are told and ways in which writers and speakers present stories.  Including:

  • Narratives that construct different views of Paris – AQA Anthology
  • Prose fiction that constructs imaginary worlds – The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • Poetry that constructs a strong sense of personal perspective – AQA Anthology, – Robert Browning

Exam – 3 hour exam worth 40% of your A-Level


Year 13 – Exploring Conflict (Paper 2)

In this component students will learn about how language choices help to construct ideas of conflict between people and their societies.  Students will explore concepts such as power and identity and analyse the ways that interactions are presented in texts.  Including:

  • Re-creative work of your own that gives a new perspective on a novel – The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • A drama that explores conflicts – A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams

Exam – 2.5 hour exam worth 40% of your A-Level


Year 12 and 13 – Non-examined assessment: Making Connections

In this component students will explore language used in different types of texts.  Students will investigate connections between a literary text and some non-literary material.

Assessment – An academic report outlining your research and findings – a piece of coursework worth 20% of your A-Level


Future Opportunities

Students with a qualification in this subject will have a wide range of careers and higher education opportunities open to them. English Literature can be studied as a single degree or it can be combined with other subjects such as History, Philosophy, Law, Politics or Languages. For those students who go straight into employment, English Literature will open the door to a wide range of opportunities in areas such as journalism, the media, law or management-based subjects.

Click on the icon below to read more about literary genres.

Examples of student essays can be found below: