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A-Level English Literature at Birmingham Ormiston Academy

Course description

The English Literature course encourages students to develop interest in and enjoyment of English Literature, through reading widely, critically and independently, across centuries, genre and gender, and through experience of an extensive range of views about texts.

Component 1: Love Through the Ages

Written Exam, 3 hours Open book for section C only – 40% of A Level

Students explore aspects of a literary theme (Love through the Ages) as seen over time. 3 sections: 

  • Section A: One passage-based question on a Shakespeare play (25 marks)
  • Section B: Compulsory essay question on two unseen poems (25 marks)
  • Section C: One essay question (from a choice of two) linking one poetry and one prose text (25 marks).

Component 2: Texts in Shared Contexts

Written Exam, 2 hours, 30 minutes. Open book – 40% of A Level

Students explore aspects of literature connected through a clearly-defined period of time. Two study options: WW1 and its AftermathOR Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to Present Day. Two sections for each option:

  • Section A: one essay question on set text (25 marks)
  • Section B: one compulsory question on an unseen extract of literary prose (25 marks)AND one essay question linking two texts (25 marks).

Component 3: Independent Critical Study

Coursework, 2,500 words – 20% of A Level

  • Students write a comparative critical study of two texts.
  • Word count: 2500 words.
  • In addition, an appropriate academic bibliography must be included.
  • One text must have been written before 1900, and two different authors must be studied.
  • Equal attention should be paid to each text.

Possible Texts for Study:


Measure for Measure

Feminine Gospels


The Handmaid’s Tale

The Great Gatsby


Brick Lane

Top Girls

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Birmingham Ormiston Academy directly.

Last updated date: 28 September 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years