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English Literature A Level at Norton College

Course description

The study of English Literature is for anybody interested in how and why people live their lives the way they do: it involves thinking about life and death, love and relationships and good and evil.

Course content

You will study numerous texts from a number of different genres, and from Shakespeare to twenty-first century writers, with the two main themes of Love Through the Ages and Texts in Shared Contexts. You will develop critical preferences and explore relationships between texts and the contexts in which they are written and received. Debate is a prominent feature of the course, encouraging you to engage with the opinions of other readers and develop your own informed personal responses.

Entry requirements

GCSE or equivalent: 5 A*-C.
English and Maths- C or above.
Specific-B in subject area.


External examination Paper 1: Love through the ages.
Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Examination will include two unseen poems.
  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book in Section C only
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level
Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts.
Choice of two options
Option 2A: WW1 and its Aftermath.
Option 2B: Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day
Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000
Examination will include an unseen extract
  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level
  • Non-exam assessment: Texts across Time.
Students produce: Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography
  • Assessed
  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA.

Future opportunities

The variety of assessment styles used, such as passage-based questions, unseen material, single-text questions, multiple-text questions, open-and closed-book approaches allow students to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research which are valuable for both further study and future employment.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Norton College directly.

Last updated date: 25 August 2016
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