Accessibility links

English Literature A-Level at Priestley College

Course description

If you are a keen and confident reader who enjoys discussing your own ideas and those of others, then this may be the English course for you. You will further develop your knowledge and interest of literary texts from different genres and periods, as well as their historical and critical contexts. In addition, you will develop a wide variety of skills that are highly regarded by both employers and universities, and which will complement many of your other courses at Priestley.

Course content

You will study a range of novels, poetry and drama from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century, including ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’, ‘Measure for Measure’ and a poetry anthology looking at ‘Love through the Ages’. There will be a focus on particular genres, allowing students to develop deeper knowledge of literary traditions and movements such as Jacobean Drama or Literary Modernism. You will focus specifically on features of language, form and structure used in texts, as well as considering the impact of contexts on the way texts are written and received. There will be opportunities for independent study that will enable students to learn new skills in academic research, as well as creative writing tasks that encourage individual responses.

Entry requirements

You must have at least a grade B or equivalent in GCSE English Literature and a grade C or equivalent in English Language. You must be prepared to read some new and challenging texts, to learn new terminology, and how to analyse techniques used in writing. You must read independently and you will need to write essays and develop the skills to express your ideas clearly and logically. You will develop oral communication skills through discussion and formal presentations. You will also develop independent research skills using the internet, Virtual Learning Environment and Learning Resource Centre.


20% coursework, 80% examination. This is a linear course and the full A level will be assessed at the end of the second year. You will complete an AS qualification at the end of the first year in the form of 100% exam.

Future opportunities

English Literature is favoured by top universities for its academic rigour and breadth of study. It will prepare you for careers which require good communication skills, such as publishing, public relations, marketing, journalism, media, management, the legal profession, teaching and many others.

Further information

Studying English Literature will give you opportunities to attend theatre performances, museum visits and conferences and residential visits. You can also join the Creative Writing Group and College Magazine.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 07 October 2016
Provider logo

Key information