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English Literature, AS/A2 at Christ The King College

Course description

Reading is a window into the world around us; it feeds the imagination and inspires us to think about the world in a new way. Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world.
You bring your history and you read it in your own terms. - Angela Carter
English Literature remains one of the most prestigious A Levels, and indeed university degrees. Studying Literature does not confine you to the traditions of England, but includes the traditions which inform English Literature, such as the study of ancient Greek tragedy to literature from other cultures and contexts. The study of Literature with all its depth and diversity of opinion can also provide an alternative to the pervasiveness of “television culture” with its immediacy and often its shallowness.

Course content

The OCR English Literature course is an exciting, interesting and varied course that covers a mix of modern and classic literature from a range of genres.
For AS Level English Literature, there are two external examinations (each paper worth 50% of the AS Level):
Paper 1: Shakespeare
Poetry pre-1900
Paper 2: Drama post-1900
Prose post-1900
For students taking the full A Level course, there is a mixture of external examination (two papers, each worth 40%) and a coursework unit (worth 20%):
Paper 1: Shakespeare
Drama and Poetry pre-1900
Paper 2: Close reading from Studied Topic Genre (American Literature; the Gothic; Dystopia; Women in Literature; the Immigrant Experience)
Comparative and Contextual Study from Studied Topic Genre
Coursework (post-1900 texts): Close-reading or re-creative writing with commentary
Comparative essay
This unit encourages students to choose their own texts for study, based upon their interest and enjoyment of modern literature.

Entry requirements

Candidates should have the skills and knowledge acquired on a GCSE Literature course or equivalent. It is recommended that candidates should have achieved at least a grade B at GCSE English Language and Literature/ English.


At AS, there are two external examinations 
Alternatively, the full A Level is assessed through two external examinations and a coursework module 

Future opportunities

An English Literature A level is highly respected by universities. English Literature leads effectively to degrees in subjects such as History, Law, Theology, Social Sciences, Politics, the Media, Computing, Teaching and, of course, Literature. English Literature also leads effectively to career opportunities in Government, Business, Management, Law, Publishing, Social Services, the Civil Service, the Media and… well, most careers! An English Literature qualification may also help you go straight into employment as it helps to develop the communication skills and understanding that many employers are looking for.

Further information

The AS course builds on your GCSE English/Literature skills of reading, understanding and analysis. It aims to:
• develop confident, independent and reflective readers of a range of texts
• encourage students to express their responses effectively
• encourage the use of critical concepts and terminology with understanding and discrimination
• encourage students to reflect on their own responses to texts, to consider other readers’ interpretations,
and to develop awareness of contexts in which texts are written.
Students enjoy developing pursuing their own literary interests for the coursework and thus, developing their
independent study skills. In addition, students studying Literature often find that it helps them develop their
discussion skills and ability to plan and write extended essays in other subject areas.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Christ The King College directly.

Last updated date: 22 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 Years