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English Literature AS & A Level at Barking Abbey School

Course description

To attempt AS and ‘A’ level English Literature, students must have proven ability to respond to Literature texts in a perceptive and discriminating way. The course will require students to read widely for background information as well as to study closely a variety of set texts. Students will also be expected to take advantage of the many theatre trips organised as a means of enhancing their understanding of drama texts and broadening their contact with literary traditions and themes.

The AS and A Level are now two separate qualifications. You will study two modules at AS and three at A Level. At AS, both modules are tested through exam and the A Level contains two exams and one piece of coursework. Some of the AS texts are used again in A Level but the examination is different and harder. The AS no longer counts towards the final A Level grade but if you only do the AS qualification it is likely to be worth 40% of the A Level UCAS points. These texts will comprise a range of novels, poetry and drama.

Course content

The course offers an opportunity to think about attitudes held, to explore problems posed and to develop not simply solutions but ways of approaching questions and difficulties. It is a chance to see through the eyes of others and to explore their world’s approaches and methods. It widens students’ knowledge in other subject areas and helps them develop an ability to perceive from different points of view.

Students will seek information on texts being studied from a range of resources and then reach their own conclusions about issues being discussed. In this way the study of literature develops independent learning and fosters selfconfidence in the students’ own beliefs and ideas.

Entry requirements

GCSE B and above English and English Literature


AS 100% Exam:

  • Paper 1 Love through the ages:
    Shakespeare and Poetry 50%
    Section A – Shakespeare (likely to be Othello)
    Section B Pre 1900 poetry
  • Paper 2 Love through the ages:
    Prose 50%
    Section A – Unseen prose extract
    Section B – Comparing two novels (Gatsby plus Rebecca)

A Level 80% Exam, 20% coursework

  • Paper 1 Love through the ages:
    Section A- Shakespeare (Othello)
    Section B – Comparing two unseen poems Section C – Comparing prose (Gatsby) with pre 1900 poetry
  • Paper 2 Texts in shared contexts
    (Modern times to present day) 40%
    A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams
    The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
    Feminine Gospels, by Carol Ann Duffy
  • A Level Coursework
    Comparison of two texts (one must be pre 1900)

Future opportunities

English Literature is a subject that opens many doors in terms of opportunities for further study and for future career prospects in areas such as journalism, law and teaching.

Journalism, Teaching, Public Relation Work, Advisory Work, Law, Researcher, Media Work, Advertising

Further information

For further information see Mr Hussein

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Barking Abbey School directly.

Last updated date: 28 October 2016
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