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English Literature - A Level at Lordswood Sixth Form Centre

Course description

New linear A level

Course content

The new A level requires the study of poetry, drama and prose including a Shakespeare play as well as both pre- and post-1900 texts that link to the theme of ‘Love Through the Ages’

Paper 1: Love through the Ages: Shakespeare, poetry and comparing texts: poetry and prose

Paper 2: Modern times: Literature from 1945 to the present day

Independent critical study: Texts across time – Non-examination assessment

Entry requirements

C grade or above in GCSE English literature AND C grade or above in GCSE English language.


Two examinations (80%)

One non-examination assessment (NEA – 2,500 words) (20%)

Future opportunities

Students with an A level in English literature have progressed to degree programmes in areas such as history (modern or ancient), law, journalism, archaeology, American studies, and education. As a ‘facilitating’ subject, A level English literature will be given high consideration when applying for any university course so long as students meet the course core requirements.

Further information

What skills do I need to develop to be successful on this course?

A level English literature students love reading, enjoy considering ideas and are interested in exploring the ways in which writers can communicate themes, morals and messages.

Over the course of the AS level students should be keen to:

• Read the set texts for study as well as other texts linked to the themes of ‘Love Through the Ages’ and ‘Modern times’

• Read much more than the set texts as well as read ‘around’ texts and their contexts.

• Take an active part in lessons, deliver presentations, participate in group discussions and dramatise texts.

• Write detailed and well-planned written responses which draw upon, and thoroughly analyse, precise textual detail.

• Learn new linguistic concepts and meta-language (the language used to discuss and explore language).

• Craft analytical and relevant essays with an increasing mastery of vocabulary.

• Develop independent research skills.

By the end of the A level students will have studied a range of literary texts across time, gender and genre. It will enable them to read texts both critically and analytically and help them to develop both written and verbal communication skills. The ability to form original interpretations and shape logical, well-substantiated arguments will be a key focus. Moreover, it will identify students as individuals with penetrating, analytical minds and has the ability to reflect on ideas and construct coherent, authoritative arguments.

What other subjects compliment A Level English Literature?

English literature is a ‘facilitating’ A level subject which works well in combination with all subjects. English literature students often study other subjects which require a similar skills base such as government and politics, history, R.E, psychology, music, modern foreign languages, sociology, and geography. Science students often choose English literature as evidence of their ability in a humanities based subject.

How will I be taught?

Students will be taught in a department of committed staff who have many years’ experience in leading students to success in English literature. In 2015, 100% of our students achieved A*- D with 67% of this cohort of students securing A*- B grades. Students can expect well-structured lessons in which previous understanding in evaluated through quizzes, games and timed essays. You will work individually and in groups, sometimes completing reading and analysis tasks and at other times preparing class presentations. Students can expect plenty of discussion and debate. Most note taking and research will be completed for homework to allow for time in lessons to explore difficult concepts or to consolidate understanding. The department encourages students to take advantage of extra-curricular opportunities in English literature, from volunteering as classroom support at KS3 to theatre trips. In recent years sixth form English literature students have visited London for conferences and seminars.

What extra-curricular opportunities are there?


Theatre visits.

Master classes.

Student Testimonial, why study A Level English Literature?

Studying English literature at A level is beneficial to those that enjoy a challenge. The subject enables you to explore complex texts in great depth and never fails to enthral. Those with an interest in reading, interpreting and understanding the intentions of a writer, and how the prevailing attitudes of their time period affect the themes they present in their writing, will certainly find this course compelling. One of the most surprising things about this course is how consumed by a text you may find yourself; you discover that the texts are multi-dimensional and have so many meanings and attributes to them that you cannot help but immerse yourself in expanding your understanding. In addition, literature has been instrumental in refining my writing style - which is not just of use in literature, but also across all of my other subjects and even in writing my personal statement. The lessons also offer a welcoming and engaging group environment which allows you to develop your confidence as the year progresses. Sairah Amin

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lordswood Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 22 November 2015
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