Accessibility links

English Language & Literature A Level at Cardinal Newman College

Course description

A Level English Combined is a varied and rich English course, which will give you a superb understanding of the history of English Literature, including the works of great writers such as Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Shakespeare and Milton, as well as teaching you how to write brilliantly yourself.

Course content

English Language and Literature A Level gives you the opportunity to study a very wide range of classic texts including novels, poems, Shakespearean and post 1900 drama and non-literary texts, such as Truman Capote’s fascinating ‘non-fiction novel’ ‘In Cold Blood’. You will also study creative writing and how to produce highly effective pieces, in a broad range of genres including journalism, travel writing, rhetoric, fiction and script-writing.

The poetry anthology will give you a fantastic and very thorough introduction to the development of English Literature from the Renaissance to the Victorian period, referencing key literary movements and the broad range of social, political, historical and cultural factors that influenced writers.

Literary study will also include a detailed analysis of Charlotte Bronte’s classic 19th century novel ‘Jayne Eyre’. Both Shakespearean and modern drama are explored through detailed study of ‘Othello’ and Tennessee Williams’ ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, with links made to the influence of the Renaissance societal attitudes and those of 1950s America.

Detailed understanding of the writer’s craft is also a core aspect of the course and you will develop superb analytical skills that will allow you to understand in-depth how writers use both literary and linguistic approaches to produce intricately detailed works with multi-layered meanings.

The analytical skills that you will develop will help you to become an excellent writer yourself; creative writing is a key aspect of the course and you’ll be taught how to create powerful and engaging pieces in a range of genres, and to appeal to different audiences.

Entry requirements

At least two Bs and three Cs at GCSE, including at least a grade 5 in GCSE English Language and English Literature, if studied.


Exam: 80% Coursework: 20%

Future opportunities

English Language and Literature is a core subject and so the skills developed will give students the opportunity to move forward into a range of areas, such as journalism, publishing, public relations and marketing. Many students go on to study the subject in its various forms at university, including English Literature, English Language, Combined English, Linguistics, Journalism and Creative Writing. An English degree also combines well with many other subjects.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 August 2016
Provider logo

Key information