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English Literature Linear A Level at Westcliff High School for Girls

Course description

AS Key Learning:
The AS course is structured into two units and will build on the essay writing and discussion skills taught at GCSE. Unit 1 and 2 both focus on Love through the Ages. In Unit 1 students will study one Shakespeare play and an Anthology of Love Poetry through the ages. In Unit 2 students will study two prose texts and answer a comparative question on them. In addition, they will also answer a question on an unseen prose extract.

A2 Key Learning:
The A Level course builds on the skills acquired at AS. Like the AS course, the A Level is taught in two units. In Unit 1, Love through the Ages, students will revisit the texts studied at AS and study these to a higher level. Three texts will be studied: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Unit 2 is entitled ‘Texts in Shared Contexts’. Students will study three texts: one prose text, one poetry and one drama of which one must be written post-2000. These will be on either: ‘Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day’ or ‘World War 1 and its Aftermath’.

Entry requirements

Grade A in English Literature and Grade B in English GCSE or vice versa.


Assessment: Externally assessed by two exam papers lasting 1hr 30mins each. Each unit is worth 50% of the AS grade.

Assessment: External assessment by two exams papers lasting 3 hours and 2 hours 30 minutes respectively. Each unit is worth 40% of the A Level grade. The final 20% is an Independent Critical Study on Texts across Time. Students will complete a comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900. This takes the form of an extended essay of 2500 words and a bibliography and is internally assessed.

Future opportunities

If you intend to study English Literature at university, you are strongly advised to take this A Level rather than the combined course, which will prepare you better for interviews and undergraduate study.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 June 2015

Key information