Accessibility links

English Literature A Level at Canons High School

Course description

Students with an enthusiasm for reading and studying English Literature.

Course content

On this OCR A Level English Literature course you will read, discuss and write about drama, poetry and novels. You will develop your critical and analytical skills to construct an argument and compare texts using evidence from them to support what you say.

Component 1: Drama and Poetry pre-1900 (40%)

This is an examined unit where students will demonstrate their knowledge of one Shakespeare play, one pre-1900 narrative poem, and one pre-1900 drama text. It is likely that you will study Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Merchant’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer and She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith.

Component 2: Comparative and Contextual Study (40%)

This is the second examined unit. Our chosen topic area is dystopian fiction and students are required to respond to an unseen passage related to the topic in one question and then write an essay comparing two set texts. Your set texts are likely to be 1984 by George Orwell and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. You will also study a wide range of dystopian literary fiction in order to prepare for the unseen passage in question 1.

Component 3: Literature post-1900 (20%)

This is the internally assessed coursework element of the A level. Students study three literary texts, including one prose text, one drama text and one poetry text. Task 1 is based on the study of one text and consists of close reading or re-creative writing with a commentary. Task 2 is a comparative essay, which explores contrasts and comparisons between two texts. You will study The History Boys by Alan Bennett alongside two other texts which will be decided.


Entry requirements

6 GCSE grades A*-C including English and Mathematics.



You will be assessed at the end of the two year course in Summer 2018. You will take two externally assessed examinations, with each one worth 40% of the total A level and you will also complete two internally assessed pieces of coursework, worth a total of 20% of the A level.


Future opportunities

This course provides a good foundation for degree courses in English, the arts, humanities and media and leads to careers in writing, journalism, the media, teaching and administration.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Canons High School directly.

Last updated date: 21 September 2016
Provider logo

Key information

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