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English Literature A Level at Collingwood College

Course description

If you welcome the prospect of developing research skills, thinking independently and engaging in critical debate, this is the course for you. English Literature students are taught to think analytically, consider different interpretations and listen and respond to one another sensitively. You will also learn the essential skill of how to write coherently and critically.

Course content

The A level course has four components: 3 exams and 1 coursework unit.

Paper 1: Drama – 1 Shakespeare play (informed by a Critical Anthology) and 1 other drama – 2 texts
Paper 2:Prose – 2 texts from chosen theme(1 pre-1900)
Paper 3: Poetry – a selection of post-2000 poems and a named poet or literary period – 2 texts

Entry requirements

Minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade A*-C (or equivalent), including English Language and Literature. Experience shows that your chances of success are greater if you have a Grade B in both GCSE English Language and Literature.


Paper 1: Drama:
Two sections – Section A – Shakespeare: one essay question incorporating ideas from wider critical reading. Section B: Other Drama: one essay question.
Written examination - 2 hours 15 minutes (open book)
Weighting: 30% of total A level mark

Paper 2: Prose
One section: one comparative essay question
Written examination – 1 hour (open book)
Weighting: 20% of total A level mark

Paper 3: Poetry
Two sections – Section A –Post-2000 Specified Poetry: one comparative essay on an unseen modern poem written post-2000 and one named poem from the studied contemporary text. Section B - Specified poetry Pre- or Post-1900: one essay response.

Coursework - Students have a free choice of 2 texts to study. They may be selected from poetry, prose, drama or literary non-fiction. One extended comparative essay referring to 2 texts (2500-3000 words) Assessed by teachers; moderated by AQA. Weighting: 20% of A level

Future opportunities

English is well-respected as a qualification by all universities. The skills allow students to progress on to a multitude of careers including journalism, PR, media and communications and teaching.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Collingwood College directly.

Last updated date: 10 October 2016
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