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English Literature A Level at Harris Academy Purley

Course description

Over the two years, students will study at least eight texts in each of the genres of poetry, prose and drama. Of the eight text studied, at least three will be published before 1900 and include a play by Shakespeare. At least one of the text studied will have been published post-2000.

In the examined element of the course, students will be required to analyse an unseen text.

Students sit examinations in their A Level courses at the end of Year 13. All students will take internal end of year examinations at the end of year 12 to determine suitability to continue with the subject in Year 13. Students who do not meet the required pass grade in the Year 12 end of year examinations will not be permitted to progress into Year 13.

Entry requirements

Students need a combination of a least grade 5 and 6 in English Language and English Literature GCSE.


Component 1: Drama

  • 2 hour 15 minute Open book Exam
  • Section A: Shakespeare: Students answer one question from a choice of two on their chosen play and a range of critical reading.
  • Section B: Other Drama: Students answer one question from a choice of two on their text.
  • 30% of A Level

Component 2: Prose

  • 1 hour Open book Exam
  • Students write one comparative essay from a  choice of two along a chosen theme.
  • 20% of A Level

Component 3:  Poetry

  • 2 hour 15 minute Open book Exam
  • Section A: Post-2000 Specified Poetry: Students write one comparative essay question on an unseen modern poem written post-2000 and one named poem from the studied contemporary text.
  • Section B: Specified Poetry Pre- or Post-1900: Students write one essay question on poems studied.
  • 30% of A Level

Component 4: Coursework

  • Students write one comparative essay of two texts studied. 2500-3000 words
  • 20% of A Level


Future opportunities

A Level English Literature is a widely recognised and popular A Level choice and valuable for access to many degree courses. Many students take English degrees. Others find the skills of analytical reading, accurate and coherent writing and insightful use of knowledge developed through the course useful in careers such as Journalism, Law, Business, Teaching and Marketing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris Academy Purley directly.

Last updated date: 06 November 2017
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