English Literature A Level at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College
Studying English Literature gives you the opportunity to develop an interest in and enjoyment of Literature from different centuries and genres; you will be encouraged to read independently and critically – this can help you with many other A Level subjects and is excellent preparation for a wide range of university degrees. The ‘A’ Level in English Literature is a skills based subject that encourages the ability to handle large amounts of textual information and to present arguments in oral and written form. English Literature acts as a vehicle for self-discovery; through Literature you will be able to reach a greater understanding of people, relationships, life, society and the world in which we live; it really is a window on the world.
The types of degree or occupation awaiting an English student include: journalism, teaching, law and management. Some famous people with English degrees are; Paul Ackford – England rugby international and columnist, Quentin Blake – author and illustrator of children’s books; Stephen Fry – actor, director, writer, Mark Knopfler – guitarist and singer with Dire Straits, Alistair McGowan –presenter and actor. English truly does support a range of careers!
English Literature at A Level is divided into three literary components:
Unit 1 Aspects of Tragedy – assessed through two examinations each examination 1 hr 30 minutes.
The study of one Shakespeare play, such as Othello and two other texts from a list including: Death of a Salesman, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Richard II, The Great Gatsby, A selection of Keats’ poetry or an anthology of poetry from AQA.
Unit 2 Texts and Genres – Crime Writing – assessed through a 3 hour examination
This unit involves the study of 3 texts from a list including: Atonement, When Will There Be Good News, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Poetry by Crabbe and Browning, Hamlet, Brighton Rock, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Unit 3 Theory and Independence – Non Examination Assessment
Students produce two 1500 word pieces of work, each on a different literary text (one poetry, one prose) selected by the student. Each text must be linked to a different section of the AQA Critical Anthology. The sections are as follows:
- Narrative Theory
- Feminist Criticism
- Marxist Criticism
- Post-colonialism criticism
- Literary Value and the Canon
The course is complemented by extra-curricular visits to theatres and other venues that support learning such as academic conferences. In the past, we have attended study days on Aspects of Narrative and Shakespeare.
In order to achieve success at ‘A’ Level you must be prepared to read widely and extensively, both for pleasure and to increase your own knowledge and understanding. Good essay writing skills and effective communication through the written word and enthusiastic contributions to class discussion are essential qualities. Although a minimum of a grade 5 at GCSE in both English Language and Literature is essential, it is preferable that you have grade 6 in English Literature.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College directly.