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English Literature A Level at Samuel Whitbread Academy

Course description

English Literature is probably the most valuable and rewarding of all A Levels to study. It allows us to explore works of significant historical importance, landmarks of the English language and opens up discussions of ethics, aesthetics, morality and justice, sexuality, society and many other Big Questions.

English Literature is regarded as one of the most desirable of facilitating subjects for Russell group Universities, as successful Literature students are able to demonstrate skills of analysis, precision and interpretation, all invaluable qualities for Higher Education.

Course content

Key Features

This subject will tackle a number of empowering texts from drama, prose & poetry.

Unit 1: Drama

Students will study one Shakespeare play and one other play from either tragedy or comedy (such as Ibsen, Williams, Marlowe, Friel, Wilde, Hall, Behn, Beckett) and a collection of critical essays related to their selected Shakespeare play.

Unit 2: Prose

Students will study two prose texts from a chosen theme, such as Crime and Detection, the Supernatural, Women and Society, Colonisation and Its Aftermath, Childhood.

Unit 3: Poetry

Students will prepare for a response to an unseen modern poem through study of poetic form, meaning, language and style and study a range of poetry from a particular literary period or a range of poetry by a named poet from within a literary period, such as Medieval Poetry, Poetic Drama (Chaucer), The Metaphysical Poets (Donne), The Romantics (Keats), The Victorians (Rossetti), The Modernist Period (Eliot) or The Movement (Larkin).

Unit 4: Coursework

Students have a free choice of two texts to study. These texts must be different from previously studied texts, must be complete and can be selected from poetry, prose or literary non-fiction.

Entry requirements

• APS 4.3

• Grade 6 in GCSE Literature

• Grade 5 in GCSE Language 


• 100% external examination

Future opportunities

This qualification is recognised for entry into all higher degree courses and is a prerequisite for the study of English Literature. More students in England and Wales study A Level English Literature than any other subject. Almost every university has a large English department. Graduates with degrees in English Literature have a passport to a wide range of careers: the Civil Service/ local government, the Foreign Office, personnel management, every aspect of the arts and media, computing, the law, international business, social work and, if the worst comes to the worst, teaching!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Samuel Whitbread Academy directly.

Last updated date: 14 December 2017
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