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English Literature A level at Harris Academy Merton

Course description

In Year 12 students will develop independent reading skills, the ability to discuss how meaning is made and the relevance of social and literary context.  In Year 13 students will broaden and deepen the knowledge and skills gained in Year 12.  

Students will be encouraged to think independently and reflect on different ways of reading and writing about texts.

Course content

Over the two years, students will study at least eight texts in each of the genres of poetry, prose and drama.  Of the eight text studied, at least three will be published before 1900 and include a play by Shakespeare.  At least one of the text studied will have been published post-2000.

In the examined element of the course, students will be required to analyse an unseen text.

Entry requirements

Standard Sixth Form Entry Requirements:

  • To study 4 A levels: must have average GCSE points score of 52+
  • To study 3 A levels: must have 7 A* - C grades in full course GCSE subjects
  • To study 3 A levels/vocational combination: must have 5 A* - C/9 - 4 grades at GCSE or Merit or above in Vocational subjects
  • To study vocational level 3 subjects: 5 A* - C/9 - 4 grades at GCSE or equivalent, with at least a merit/C/4 grade in a relevant vocational qualification or GCSE
  • Extended writing A level subject students will need a combination of at least grades 4 and 5 in English Language and English Literature

Subject specific requirements:

Students require a grade B or above in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.


1. Drama:  2 hour15 minute Exam; open book; 30% of A level

Section A: Shakespeare;  Pupils answer 1 question from a choice of 2 on their chosen play and a range of critical reading

Section B: Other Drama: Pupils answer 1 question from a choice of 2 on their text


2. Prose: 1 hour Exam; Open book; 20% of A level

Pupils write one comparative essay from a  choice of 2 along a chosen theme


3. poetry: 2 hour15 Exam; Open book; 30% of A level

Section A: Post-2000 Specified Poetry: Pupils write one comparative essay question on an unseen modern poem written post 2000 and one named poem from the studied contemporary text.

Section B – Specified Poetry Pre- or Post-1900: Pupils write one essay question on poems studied


4. Coursework: 20% of A level

Pupils write one comparative essay of two texts studied. 2500-3000 words

Future opportunities

A Level English Literature is a widely recognised and popular A Level choice and valuable for access to many degree courses.  Many students take English degrees.  Others find the skills of analytical reading, accurate and coherent writing, and insightful use of knowledge developed through the course useful in careers such as Journalism, Law, Business, Teaching and Marketing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris Academy Merton directly.

Last updated date: 09 December 2016
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