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English Literature, A Level (level 3) at Wrotham School

Course description

This is a two year course which will result in a single A Level. This can be taken in a combination with other level 3 courses (including A level, IB and vocational).

If taken in combination with two IB courses and a vocational course, students will be taking the IBCP (International Baccalaureate Career-related Pathway).

Course content

Examination texts are selected for choice, engagement and achievement.  The course helps you develop a wide range of skills such as written and oral communication, debate and discussion, empathising and understanding as well as the more obvious essay writing skills.

Syllabus components:

Unit 1: Drama  Set texts are Othello and Dr Faustus.  The exam is 2hr 15 minutes and students will have to answer questions on both texts.  They will be expected to draw on social historical context, structure, form and language analysis as well as a critical anthology of textual interpretations.  Whilst it is an open exam, students are not allowed access to the critical anthology in the exam.

Unit 2: Prose  Students read The Handmaid’s Tale and Frankenstein and then have a 1 hour exam where they compare these two text in one extended essay

Unit 3: Poetry  Students complete a 2hr 15min exam where they answer one essay on the Modernist poetry movement, looking at two poems from a collection that is pre taught.  The other half of this exam is Post 2000 poetry where students are pre-taught an anthology of modern poems and are then expected to write an essay comparing one of these poems to a previously unseen text.

Unit 4: Coursework Students begin in Year 12 by reading Streetcar Named Desire and The Great Gatsby.  They are then encouraged to draw up their own title comparing these two texts, and will then write a 2500-3000 word essay on this title.  They will be expected to cover the social historical context of both texts, and explore critical interpretations of the texts and the viewpoints of modern readers and audiences.  This is worth 20% of the whole qualification.

Key skills include:

  • Applying concepts and methods from integrated linguistic and literary study as appropriate, using associated terminology and coherent written expression.
  • Analysing ways in which meanings are shaped in texts
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which texts are produced and received.
  • Exploring connections across texts, informed by linguistic and literary concepts and methods.
  • Demonstrating expertise and creativity in the use of English to communicate in different ways.

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in English literature at GCSE. 


20% Coursework and 80% Examination.

Future opportunities

English literature is a popular qualification for entry to a wide range of courses at university or for future careers in journalism, the media or law, for example.

The coursework component of A Level English literature/ language allows students to study an area of personal interest in great depth, allowing them to develop the research skills they would need if undertaking a project at work or a dissertation at university.

Further information

As with any level 3 qualification, there is an increased demand for students to work independently. Students, therefore, must expect to study outside of lesson time and will be expected to work for approximately five hours a week outside of lessons in order to complete the work to the required grades for most universities and higher apprenticeships.

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: 06 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two years
  • Course code: El
  • Number of planned places: 20