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English Literature A level at Luton Sixth Form College

Course description

On this course you will study a range of books, covering prose fiction, poetry and drama, including at least one play by Shakespeare. You will study eight texts from across these genres, including texts written before 1900 and after 2000. You will learn about different interpretations and critical approaches to the books, and explore comparisons and contrasts between them. You will learn to give references and quotations accurately and to use literary terms with understanding and discrimination. You will examine the author’s language and how it affects the perceptions of the audience. You will be helped to develop your views in an informed way, taking account of the opinions put forward by other readers, and to build them into well-written arguments – a useful skill for many professions. Theatre visits, revision conferences and other extra-curricular activities are offered as part of the course.

Course content

Component 1: Drama

In this unit you will study a dramatic genre, either comedy or tragedy. You will study a Shakespeare play and another dramatic text.

Component 2: Prose

You will compare two novels linked by a central theme. At least one of these novels will be written before 1900. Possible themes include: the supernatural, colonisation and its aftermath, science and society, crime and detection, childhood and women and society.

Component 3: Poetry

You will study a range of poetry from different time periods. This will include a collection of poetry written between 2002-2011, and poetry from a movement such as Romanticism, Modernism, Metaphysical poetry etc. You will also prepare to analyse poems you have not seen before.


You will write a comparative study of two texts agreed between you and your teacher. These can be poetry, drama, prose fiction or literary non-fiction. You will produce a 2500-3000 word essay on your chosen topic.

Entry requirements

To start any A levels you need to meet the general college entry requirements. In addition there are the following subject specific entry requirements: you should have GCSE English grade C.


Exam Board – Edexcel

  • Component 1: Drama - Exam. Open book. 2 hours 15 min.
  • Component 2: Prose - Exam. Open book. 1 hour.
  • Component 3: Poetry - Exam. Open book and unseen analysis. 2 hours 15 minutes.
  • Coursework - Internally assessed.

Future opportunities

A Level English Literature is a well established and respected qualification, valued by universities and employers because it shows your ability to construct and present convincing arguments based on an intelligent and detailed reading of the evidence. Traditional careers include teaching, journalism and other jobs in the media, marketing, advertising, PR and management. However the possibilities are unlimited!

Our students have gone on to a huge range of degrees, from English itself through Psychology, Media and History to Law, Journalism and Politics. The range of universities they have attended is similarly broad and includes both Oxford and Cambridge.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years