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English Literature A-Level at Polam Hall School

Course description

"You develop the insight of an artist, the analytical precision of a scientist and the persuasiveness of a lawyer. "

'Why Study English?' Prof. Moran, Brunel University

English Literature is a varied and popular subject, combining a strong academic tradition with the most recent thinking in the field of literary studies.

The course enables pupils to enjoy reading and discussing English Literature, and to increase their understanding of what the study of literature involves. The emphasis is on getting to know a wide range of texts in depth, both through close reading and through an appreciation of the contexts in which literary texts are written and understood.

Lessons are largely seminar-based, and supplemented by theatre visits, student conferences, workshops, and so on. Pupils will enjoy opportunities to discuss issues, develop their own ideas and interpretations, expand their own interests and enthusiasms, and think about a range of cultural, social and historical issues. At both levels the course combines focus on key taught texts with a requirement for extensive independent reading which will underpin examination success.

Course content

AS Units

Unit 1 (2 hours): Texts in Context

Victorian Literature: Thomas Hardy’s poetry and an unseen piece of Victorian non-fiction and wider reading of Victorian literature. 

Unit 2 Coursework: Creative Study

Victorian Literature: Jane Eyre or The French Lieutenant’s Woman; A Doll’s House or Arcadia. Critical essays or creative writing 

A2 Units

Unit 3 (2½ hours): Reading for Meaning

Unseen extracts and wider reading on theme Love through the Ages across poetry, drama and prose

Unit 4 Coursework: Extended Essay and Shakespeare Study

A critical essay on The Winter’s Tale, Pride and Prejudice and a choice of one of the following: Atonement, Brideshead Revisited, Death of a Salesman, My Mother Said I Never Should, The Great Gatsby, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for Advanced Level study is 6 A* - C grades. Students’ GCSEs must include Mathematics and English at least at Grade C. 4/3 subjects at AS level are usually studied in the first year.

Future opportunities

An A Level in English Literature is welcomed as a qualification for most degree courses and careers. It provides a very wide range of opportunities for courses in the Arts, Humanities, Media and Communications, but can also be a valuable contrast to scientific, technological and economics-based subjects, opening up greater breadth of interest and range of reference. Pupils will develop valuable skills in written and spoken communication, and be able to work independently and think critically.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Polam Hall School directly.

Last updated date: 22 April 2015
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