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English language and literature, IBO Higher Level Certificate (level 3) at Wrotham School

Course description

This is a Higher Level/Standard Level IB course, which can be taken as part of the IBCP or as a stand alone qualification in combination with A levels and/or career-related qualifications. 

Course content

The language and literature course aims to develop in students skills of textual analysis and the understanding that texts, both literary and non-literary, can be seen as autonomous yet simultaneously related to culturally determined reading practices. An understanding of the ways in which formal elements are used to create meaning in a text is combined with an exploration of how that meaning is affected by reading practices that are culturally defined and by the circumstances of production and reception. The study of literature in translation from other cultures is especially important to IB Diploma Programme students because it contributes to a global perspective, thereby promoting an insight into, and understanding of, the different ways in which cultures influence and shape the experiences of life common to all humanity.


Key texts:

  • Othello
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • A Doll’s House
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The World’s Wife
  • Plus topical non-fiction


Part 1 Language in cultural context Texts are chosen from a variety of sources and genres, looking at the ways in which language is used in the world around us.


Part 2 Language and mass communication A focus on media texts such as blogs, podcasts and websites, and how these fit into our political and cultural landscapes.  Both of these language modules (1 and 2) comprise of an oral assessment (speaking and listening), plus a written assessment where the student develops their own area of expertise to explore.  They also contribute to the skills necessary for paper 1, where students compare 2 unseen texts in exam conditions


Part 3 Texts and contexts

Part 4 critical study

  • Othello
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • A Doll’s House
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The World’s Wife

Key texts for these literature modules are assessed through one highly controlled spoken language exam (recorded in controlled conditions where students discuss the texts studied).  The skills taught also contribute to paper 2, where students write one extended essay based on a comparison of the texts studied.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English literature or English language at GCSE.


External assessment (examination) 70% and Internal Assessment 30%

Future opportunities

The IBCP (International Baccalaureate Career-related Pathway) is globally recognised and accepted by universities around the world. Some competitive university courses ask for specific IB subjects to have been studied as part of the Baccalaureate programme of study. We recommend that you research current grade requirements for that subject on and filter for the International Baccalaureate. 

English language and literature is a popular qualification for entry to a wide range of courses at university or for future careers in advertising, marketing, performing arts, government, teaching, business,  journalism, the media or law.

Further information

As with any level 3 qualification, there is an increased demand for students to work independently. Students, therefore, must expect to study outside of lesson time and will be expected to work for approximately five hours a week outside of lessons in order to complete the work to the required grades for most universities and higher apprenticeships.

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: 18 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September