Accessibility links

English Literature A Level at St Paul's Catholic School

Course description

Studying English Literature at A-level offers you the opportunity to develop your analytical skills, your writing skills and your love and knowledge of great literature. It is a traditional A-level, highly valued by universities and employers; it offers access to a wide range of careers because you will be practising the art of articulate and fluent communication.

We will read, study and analyse works of literature that will entertain, mystify, enchant, disturb, comfort and enrich your understanding of genre, writing techniques, social and political history and psychology. Students will defend and attack, question and reflect, applaud and deride. They will talk and talk and talk. They will be moved to silence and they will reflect and write.

Students also have the opportunity to write a coursework portfolio which will contribute to 20% of the A-level qualification. They will produce two essays of 1250-1500 words. With guidance and support, the students will be able to choose their own independent focus and will work on this study from the end of Year 12 into the start of Year 13.

Course content

Genre study is at the heart of the chosen AQA English Literature B A-level course and the two broad genres that we will study are tragedy and crime writing. Working with genre involves looking at ways in which authors shape meanings within their texts. It also involves thinking about a wide range of relevant contexts, some of them to do with the production of the text at the time of its writing, some (where possible) to do with how the text has been received over time and, most of all in this specification, contexts to do with how the text can be interpreted by readers now.

In the first year of the course, we will study the genre of tragedy through our reading of Shakespeare’s Othello, Thomas Hardy’s novel ‘Tess of the D’Uberville’s’ and the Arthur Miller play, ‘Death of a Salesman’. Through our study of crime texts, including Robert Browning, Agatha Christie, and Ian McEwan, we will consider the way crime drives plot and criminals create narratives. We will be reading an account of a life lost to crime, we will consider the nature of the crimes and the criminals and the criminals’ motives and actions – a fascinating study.

Entry requirements

5 A*-C at GCSE or their equivalent. These must include English and English Literature. Only students who enjoy reading should apply for this course


2 exams and an item of coursework.

Future opportunities


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Paul's Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 10 June 2015
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years