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English Literature A Level at Comberton Village College & Sixth Form

Course description

Why study English Literature?

Do you love reading? Do you enjoy gaining insights into different worlds and different people? Would you like the chance to discuss the books you read, with enthusiastic teachers and students – and be challenged to support your ideas? If so then English Literature is the course for you!

These courses will help you develop your skills of reading and critical analysis through the study of a diverse range of texts, ranging from the sixteenth century to the present day. You will need to enjoy the challenge of writing essays and mini-essays every week as well as doing lots of reading!

Course content

What will I study?

The subject content for English Literature is divided into three components:

1. Aspects of tragedy
2. Elements of crime writing
3. Theory and independence

Component 1 AQA Lit B Paper 1: Aspects of Tragedy – 40% (2 ½ hour exam)
Section A: one passage-based essay question on Shakespeare’s Othello.
Section B: one essay question based on an aspect of tragedy within Othello.
Section C: one essay question linking an aspect of tragedy within two other texts.

During the course of year 12, you will study Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, a selection of Keats’ poetry and a selection of narrative poems in preparation for the demands of this paper.

Component 2 AQA Lit B Paper 2: Elements of Crime Writing – 40% (3 hour exam)
Section A: one passage-based essay question on a previously unseen text.
Section B: one essay question based on an element of crime writing within a set text.
Section C: one essay question based on an element of crime writing and linking between two set texts.

During the course of year 13, you will study Brighton Rock, Atonement, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a selection of Robert Brownings’ narrative poems and other texts with elements of crime within them, in preparation for the demands of this paper.

Component 3 AQA Lit B Non-Exam Assessment: Theory and Independence – 20% 
Element 1: a critical essay of 1200-1500 words on one text.
Element 2: a critical essay OR re-creative writing task with acccompanying commentary of 1200-1500 words on a second text.

During the course of year 13 you will study one poetry text and you will work independently in the study of one prose text, in preparation for the demands of these longer essays. You will learn a number of critical perspectives through which you might explore your chosen texts: these will include Marxist, feminist and eco-critical readings.


English Literature Extras

Seeing plays in performance will help you to develop a deeper understanding of the texts studied. It is hoped this will include regular film presentations as well as a trip to Stratford where you would take part in workshops. In addition, links with the University of Cambridge will provide opportunities to attend occasional lectures further to complement the range and detail of your AS and A level experiences, here at Comberton Sixth Form.


Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements:

5 x 5s

4 in English and Maths

Subject Specific Entry Requirements:

6 in English Literature GCSE


* Please note that Level 2 vocational courses are the equivalent of 1 GCSE and only 1 will be counted towards the A-Level pathway entry requirements

Future opportunities

What can I do with English Literature after sixth form?

A wide variety of occupations will be open to you ranging from journalism to law, social services and teaching (to name just a few). The analytical and cultural skills acquired are highly regarded by universities and future employers making A Level Literature a ‘facilitator subject’ as well as being valuable in its own right. Many students who have studied English Literature go on to Higher Education to take a degree in English, Media Studies, Communications, Languages, Performing Arts, or combined arts subjects, as well as Law, and Education to name but a few.

Further information

Exam Board


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: 27 September 2017
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