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English Literature A-Level at Wales High School and Business and Enterprise College with Applied Learning

Course description

Course Overview

This course is offered as an A2 Level, studied over two years. A-Level English Literature encourages students to develop their interest in English Literature through reading widely, critically and independently. Students are able to explore texts which interest them and study texts that range across centuries, genre and gender.


English Literature can stimulate students’ own understanding of the world in which we live and provide an opportunity for students to examine the ways the social, political and historical contexts in which texts were written influenced the writing of the works.


Examination Board

The Examination Board for this course is AQA.


Where can this lead?

English Literature is a highly regarded A-Level and is a great foundation for further study in Higher Education. Previous students have continued their study of English Literature at university and enjoyed careers in sectors such as law, publishing and advertising.


Course Entry Requirements

At least five GCSEs grade A*-C (or equivalent), including humanities based subjects (such as History and RE) plus at least a grade 6 in English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE.


Course Breakdown

Students will follow a course of study looking at the literature produced during a range of time periods. Students are required to study a minimum of eight texts, which must include three pre-1900 works including a Shakespeare play, and a post-2000 work. You will then explore various aspects of the texts such as context and writer technique, as well as comparing texts effectively across the time periods.


In order to prepare for examinations with unseen texts, students will need to read widely, broadening their knowledge and their critical and comparative understanding of literature. Some of this wider reading will also form the basis for a dissertation-style investigation.


In the first year, students are exposed to a wide range of texts centring around the theme ‘Love through the Ages’. Texts include Othello by William Shakespeare, The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald as well as an anthology of pre-1900 poetry, spanning a wide range of contexts and genres. Students will be required to use close reading skills to analyse text as well as referring to a broader knowledge base of texts studied.


In the second year, students study a range of prose, poetry and drama set in modern times, from 1945 to the present day. Authors studied range from Margaret Atwood to Tennessee Williams in which students have an element of choice in the texts studied. At A2, students are also required to write a comparative essay on texts of their choice, researching an area of interest to them. This contributes to 20% of the overall grade awarded.


Enrichment Opportunities

Join us to attend seminar days, theatre trips, University of Sheffield lectures and visits to other venues of literary interest.








Additional Information

The teachers in the English Department enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for literature with students. We run many workshop sessions with other schools and universities, attend course related conferences and frequently offer theatre and residential visits to enrich our students’ study of English. We have a range of specialist and experienced staff, specialising in literature from the Renaissance to the present day.


Follow the link to see our English Student Profiles:


For further information, please contact – Mrs W Ellin /


How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 19 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Can be 1 or 2 years