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A-Level (AS/A2) in English Literature at Archbishop Holgate's School

Course description

If you enjoy reading, have a questioning mind, enjoy debate and want to learn how to present your views effectively orally and in writing, then English Literature is for you.  In addition to learning more about literature you will develop a wide variety of skills that are highly regarded both by employers and universities.

You will also develop independent research skills using the internet, Virtual Learning Environment and Learning Resource Centre. You will develop analytical skills as well as written communication skills through coursework, timed examination practice and essays.

You must have at least a grade C in both GCSE English Language and English Literature.

Course content

At AS, you will study the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes; F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and one other novel of your choice; a number of short stories and David Hare’s play, Murmuring Judges. You will produce a coursework folder containing an extended essay comparing The Great Gatsby with one other novel, and one piece of creative writing with a commentary.

At A2, you will study older, more challenging texts including Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, and the poetry of John Donne. You will also undertake an independent study of three texts for coursework. You will learn not only about the texts themselves but also the social, historical and literary contexts in which they were written and read.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Sixth Form are 5 A*- C at GCSE, including English and Mathematics, although certain courses will have specific requirements.


Coursework and examinations in January and June.

Financial information

Over the duration of this course students may be required to attend visits to further their learning. If there are any cost implications student will be notified in advance and financial support may be offered to students who would have difficulty funding such visits.

Future opportunities

English Literature prepares you for careers which require good communication skills such as publishing, public relations, marketing, journalism, management, the legal profession, teaching and many others.

It is the AS/A2 course you should take if you want to study English at university or teach English in a high school or college.

Further information

To develop your understanding of English you will attend theatre performances, and conferences, hear visiting speakers and attend English enrichments such as creative writing.

To find out more about this qualification contact us on 01904 411341 or email (sixthform@, your school/college careers staff or get further information and advice from

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Archbishop Holgate's School directly.

Last updated date: 02 July 2014
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