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English Literature A level at Havering Sixth Form College

Course description

This is a challenging and enjoyable course for those who love to read. Studying poetry, prose and drama from a range of different writers, both modern and classic, you will explore the literary canon to find new interests.

The course will develop your analytical skills pushing you to read critically and support your response with evidence of your interpretation. The course requires good communication skills, both written and verbal, and it will help students improve their vocabulary.

Course content

English Literature is designed for students who read widely and enjoy exploring the ways meaning is made by writers.  You will be expected to study a minimum of 8 books over the course of two years plus additional independent reading. You will build on the skills you have gained from study of GCSE English and formulate evidence-based interpretations of writers’ works. You will engage with critical approaches and build on your written and verbal expression.

Students should only select English Literature if they are keen readers and should be able to demonstrate that they have read beyond GCSE set texts.

You should expect to cover:

  • Drama – Tragedies. William Shakespeare’s Othello or Anthony and Cleopatra and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Prose – One pre 1900 novel and one modern novel linked by a theme e.g. women and society or childhood.
  • Poetry – One post 2000 collection and one collection based on a specific literary movement e.g. Modernism
  • Coursework – Two self-selected texts to compare. Can be poetry, prose, drama or non-fiction.

Entry requirements

Average point score 5.0 including a minimum of a C in GCSE English Language and a B in English Literature. If English Literature has not been studied then a B in English Language will be accepted. Strengths in essay based subjects will be an advantage e.g. Religious Studies and History.


Exam Board - AQA

There will be three exams which will make up 80% of the marks and one coursework element worth 20% of the A level grade.

Financial information

Compulsory Cost

£20 - Both Year 1 and Year 2 a charge for text books.

Future opportunities

Employers and universities value the skills developed by this course. You can apply for an English degree but many other subjects also appreciate the analytical skills, independence of thought and communication skills which this qualification enhances. These skills are also sought by a wide range of professions.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Havering Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 09 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years