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English Language and Literature at Gateshead College

Course description

You will have the opportunity to develop your subject expertise by engaging creatively and critically with a wide range of texts. Using literary and linguistic concepts and methods, you will analyse literary and non-literary texts in a range of modes and genres, in the process gaining insights into the nature of different texts and ideas about creativity.

You will also develop skills as a producer and interpreter of language by creating texts yourself and critically reflecting on your own processes of production.

Many of these strengths you will gain and polish throughout the two years and we will encourage you to do this through debate and discussion.

The study of language and literature is about sharing perspectives and opinions and challenging received assumptions in order to reach a strong personal understanding.

In our small groups we want to stimulate debate and to give students the confidence to express their own judgements and to develop these so they are based on close, accurate textual understanding. A willingness to ‘get it wrong’ is and undoubted advantage.

Course content

The focus of teaching and learning is also guided to some extent by the set text choices, which have all been chosen for their accessibility and position as ideal vehicles for the application of your knowledge across these key areas.  

For example, 'Views and Voices' focuses on how and why views and perspectives of different kinds are shaped and used in narratives, and how language choices help to shape the representations of different worlds and perspectives.

Views and Voices’ texts include:


  • Mary Shelley Frankenstein
  • Bram Stoker Dracula
  • Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Alice Sebold The Lovely Bones


  • John Donne
  • Robert Browning
  • Carol Ann Duffy
  • Seamus Heaney

'People and Places' retains a focus on language choices but looks at how given language choices help to shape the representations of a place, along with different perspectives.

The text for ‘People and Places’ is:

Anthology: Paris

This a collection of different types of texts, all focused upon impressions and connotations of the wonderful, creative city of Paris.

Exploring Conflict’ focuses on how language choices help to construct ideas of conflict between people, and between people and their societies.

The texts for ‘ Exploring Conflict’ include:


  • John Krakauer Into the Wild
  • Kate Summerscale The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby
  • Khaled Hosseini The Kite RunnerTe


  • William Shakespeare Othello
  • Arthur Miller All My Sons
  • Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Rory Kinnear The Herdxt

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of four GCSEs A* to C
  • An equivalent Level 2 qualification
  • Diploma Level 2


Future opportunities

Students just like you invariably progress to their chosen universities, both far and wide, and frequently let us know how well they are doing – and how well Gateshead College prepared them for university life.  Indeed, students quite often come to Gateshead with one potential degree in mind, and decide upon English instead!  

Past students are to be found in TV and journalism, commerce and finance, politics and the law. Indeed, with English ‘under your belt’, there is nothing you can’t do.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gateshead College directly.

Last updated date: 12 April 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • Gateshead College's Baltic Campus is located on the Gateshead quayside, just minutes from Newcastle City Centre and its attractions.

      The College is situated behind the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead.

      The College has its own car park, but at busy times alternative parking is available nearby.

      There is a charge for parking. Students can apply for a permit to allow free parking during study time.