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English Literature A Level at Bishop Challoner Catholic College

Course description

Traditionally, English Literature is the most popular A Level. At Bishop Challoner Catholic College, this is no different, with over one hundred students studying the subject post sixteen.

English Literature is a fantastic subject for those who love reading, who enjoy debate and discussion and who want the opportunity to expand their horizons.

Course content

What will I learn?

On the course, you will study one of the most famous novels of all time, namely ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker. You will compare this to ‘The Little Stranger’ by Sarah Waters which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, when it was published in 2009.

You will also read a range of modern poetry and a play called ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams, which received rave reviews when it was performed in London recently.

We teach that there is no ‘right’ answer. You will be encouraged to develop your opinions and bring your personal experiences to bear on the texts. We will hone skills of expression, argument and analysis.

Where possible, we will complement the study of the texts with trips to the theatre and cinema.

Assessment

How will I be assessed at AS?

AS English Literature is now assessed wholly by examination. There is no longer any coursework.

Paper 1: Poetry and Drama (2 hours - 60%)

Section A: Poetry (20%) You will study 28 modern poems. These poems were all published after the millennium and can be found in the collection ‘Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002 – 2011.

Section B: ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams (40%) You will study a play from the tragedy genre. This play is called ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by the famous American playwright, Tennessee Williams.

Paper 2: Prose (1 hour - 40%) You will compare two novels from the supernatural genre. Pre 1900: ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker Post 1900: ‘The Little Stranger’ by Sarah Waters

How will I be assessed at A Level?

A Level at English Literature is assessed by three examinations (worth 80%) and one coursework essay (20%).

Paper 1: Poetry and Drama (2 hours, 15 minutes - 30%)

Section A: ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare

Section B: ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams

Paper 2: Prose (1 hour - 20%) Similar to Year 12, you will compare two novels from the supernatural genre. Pre 1900: ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker Post 1900: ‘The Little Stranger’ by Sarah Waters

Paper 3: Poetry (2 hours, 15 minutes - 30%)

Section A: Post 2000 Poetry As in Year 12, you will study the same 28 modern poems. However, in the examination, you will have to compare one of these poems to an ‘unseen’ poem.

Section B: Pre 1900 Poetry You will study a range of poetry written by the Victorian poet, Christina Rossetti. Coursework: (20%) You will compare a theme in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s perennially popular ‘The Great Gatsby’ with a novel of your choice. This could be as wide ranging as Capote’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, Miller’s ‘Death of a Salesman’ or Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’. The choice is yours!

Future opportunities

Where might this course take me?

This course will definitely prepare you for university, even if you do not intend to study English Literature at degree level.

The Russell Group (comprising of the top 24 universities in Britain) highlighted English Literature as one of the eight ‘facilitating subjects’ which universities think prepare you best for further education.

It is highly valuable for students interested in taking up a career in which highly developed verbal skills, deep thinking, analysis, reflection and moral and social awareness are important. These include teaching, anything to do with the media or the public sector and any job that involves working with people or as part of a team.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 17 November 2016
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Key information

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

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