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English Literature A level at Malbank School and Sixth form College

Course description

English Literature is more like the English that you will know from your previous studies. If you enjoy the discussion of poetry, prose and plays and have an appreciation of the skill and magic in literature, then this is for you. English Literature requires you to be able to analyse and discuss literary texts, debate ideas about literacy, culture and society which are essential skills valued by universities and employers. The department have a successful track record with 78% of pupils achieved grade A*- C at AS and 72% of pupils achieved grade A*- C at A2 level.

Course content

The struggle for identity in modern literature

Unit 1

  • Examination - which is 60% of your AS level. There are two parts to the exam:
  • The Context Question 
You will be asked to analyse a non-fiction text and discuss this in relation to whole range of wider reading that you will do over the year about ‘Modern Identity'
  • The Poetry Set Text
 You will be asked to write an essay in response to a question about your poetry set text - The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy, or And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.

Unit 2

  • Coursework - 40% of your AS level. There are two pieces of coursework:
  • Prose coursework. Writing and essay on The Road by Cormac McCarthy or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini focussing on an area of your choice.
  • Drama coursework. Writing a comparative essay on two (or more) drama texts.

Entry requirements

For both subjects we expect pupils to achieve a grade B in the relevant subject, i.e. a grade B in GCSE English Literature in order to study AS Literature. We will consider lower grades, but in all truth the demands and difficulty of the course mean we advise those not achieving a B at GCSE to rethink their choices.


AS Level Love through the Ages

Paper 1: Love through the ages: Shakespeare and Poetry - 50% of total grade
What will you study?
Study of two texts: one Shakespeare play: Othello this year but will change and one AQA Anthology of love poetry through the ages.

How will you be assessed? 
One exam paper: 1hr 30 mins
Section A: 
Shakespeare. One passage from play with a linked essay question. (25 marks) 
Section B:
Poetry. One question on a printed poem from the AQA Anthology (25 marks)

Paper 2: Love through the Ages: Prose - 50% of total grade

What will you study?
Study of two prose texts. Exam will include an unseen prose extract.

How will you be assessed? 
One exam paper: 1hr 30 mins
Section A: 
Unseen prose extract. One compulsory question on an unseen prose extract. (25 marks) 
Section B:
Comparing prose texts. One comparative question on two prose texts. (25 marks)

Future opportunities

Both English Literature and English Language are highly valued courses that will give pupils a sound footing in skills and knowledge to go into any job or course reliant on close study, analysis or reading. Many of our pupils go on to study Journalism, Teaching, Criminology, Psychology and Law at University. We are proud of the fact that many of our pupils choose to carry on their love of either English by choosing to study it at University; proof we believe that students find the courses and delivery rewarding and inspiring.

Further information

What Extra Opportunities are available?


Every year Literature at A2 offers the chance to visit the Globe theatre in London, to see Shakespeare as he was meant to be seen!

We have also arranged trips to supplement the wider reading nature of the course, A Doll's House this year being just one example. 

As is always the case with the English department, we also pride ourselves in our close relationships with and support of pupils, meaning that in the run up to exams, we offer a dedicated and thorough set of exam revision classes to help pupils achieve all they can.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Malbank School and Sixth form College directly.

Last updated date: 16 August 2016

Key information