Accessibility links

English A Literature IB Higher Level at Parkside Sixth

Course description

Literature opens your mind to experiences of people from around the world.Language A Literature (English) will introduce you to some of the greatest works of English and World Literature, as it touches on all aspects of humanity.

The skills that you learn in English will prepare you for many careers and degree courses, including the media, law and teaching.Studying English will help you to draw together the components of your IB diploma and challenge you to think in different and alternative ways. It will promote independent thought about the past and arouse your critical faculties for the future.

Course content

You will study a range of literary works from English and World Literature. Plays, poetry and drama will introduce you to texts about society and the self.At the same time, you will draw on history and politics, as well as considering issues of morality, religion and emotion.

Authors who you may study include:

  • Margaret Atwood
  • Jane Austen
  • Alan Bennett
  • Franz Kafka
  • Harold Pinter
  • William Shakespeare
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above, including English and Maths.

IB students take six subjects in total which consists of three subjects at Higher level and three at Standard level. 
For Higher level subjects, you should have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade B or above in those subjects or related ones. We recommend Higher level Maths, Chemistry and Physics only for those with a grade A or above in GCSE Maths and Science. 

Further information about entry requirements can be found in our  prospectus or on the website. Students also have timetabled sessions for Theory of Knowledge.

If you are applying for the International Baccalaureate, you need to choose six subjects, from a range of different subject areas. For information can be found in our prospectus.

A paper copy of the prospectus can be obtained by phoning the Sixth Form Administrator on 01223 712600.


The final mark is made up of both exams and coursework. The exam papers are all taken at the end of the course.

Standard and higher level students:

  • Paper 1: two unseen texts to test yours skills of commentary and analysis
  • Paper 2: essays on the drama works studied
  • Coursework: a comparative study (max 1500 words) of World Literature's treatment of society and the self
  • Oral commentary: a spoken examination during which you will analyse one of the texts that you have studied in detail.
  • Oral presentation: a chance to explore your personal interests from the course

Higher-Level only:

  • Coursework: a choice from a comparative study of two works from the course, a creative response to one work or a detailed study of one work studied

Future opportunities

Many students of literature at sixth-form continue such study at degree level or move into other areas such as history, law, media-related courses, even sciences.Remember that this course is an excellent preparation for self-study, essay writing and independent analysis that are useful for all courses at degree level and beyond.

Studying a literature-based course in the sixth form keeps your options as open as possible, as English courses at many competitive universities prefer students to have studied literature for IB or A-Level.

In terms of job prospects, literature students can be found a wide number of professions, including writing, politics, journalism, teaching, the Law, marketing and the Media.

Further information

How will I study?

You will have access to excellent resources in our sixth form library, and subject tutors will advise you on the appropriate material. You will undertake independent study, but also have access to plenty of high-quality study support from subject tutors. Seminars will be challenging and dynamic, with plenty of opportunities for you to discuss and develop your ideas.

What extra-curricular activities will there be?

  • A reading society, with outside speakers, debates and virtual discussions with IB students from around the world.
  • Visits in Cambridge and the UK, to listen to talks and to see theatre and film that supports your enjoyment of the course.

We may be able to offerstudents who are bi-lingual the opportunity to take their A1 certificate in their own language.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 16 October 2017
Provider logo

Key information

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Contact enquiries
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 01223 310118 / 01223 271569
    • Email address: