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English Literature A level at Sherburn High School

Course description

The English Literature A Level course is designed to enable you to develop awareness and appreciation of a range of literary forms, genres and texts. If you have enjoyed the study and analysis of English Literature in the past and enjoy reading widely then this subject is likely to be for you. You will have the opportunity for independent investigation work on novels, poetry and drama. You will extend your ideas through reading in breadth and depth and through writing, presentations and discussion. You will develop your own skills in analysing and comparing texts and their contexts. You will investigate texts of different genres or periods.

Course content

First Year Units –
Literary genres: this unit studies several texts from the genre of tragedy or comedy, looking at what the common features of this genre are and how writers from different periods and in different contexts have interpreted and created works in this genre. You will study a Shakespeare play, another drama and either a novel or poetry. You will analyse the techniques used by writers and the effects they create as well as their intended themes and ideas as well as the ways that the contexts they write in have shaped their work. You will develop the skills to confidently interpret literary works and the technical knowledge of how they are constructed.

Second Year Units
The second year units build on the ones studied in year 12 by adding additional content to them and introducing a coursework element.

Elements of crime or elements of political and social protest: this unit looks at one of these genres, studying several forms and texts. You will explore the ways writers have shaped the genre and used literature for political means.

Coursework: wider reading about critical theory is used here to interpret chosen texts through the lens of feminist, Marxist or other literary criticism.

Entry requirements

You should have achieved a sound GCSE in English Language. A minimum of a C but ideally a grade B or higher and also have your GCSE in English Literature


80% exam and 20% coursework

Future opportunities

English Literature A-level is a facilitating subject and provides a basis for further specific study in higher education or provides a qualification that can be used to support other qualifications for access to other areas of study. Many of our students use English Literature A-Level as a qualification for entry into higher education. Career routes that may follow from the study of English Literature include: journalism and the media; teaching; publishing; advertising; legal work and any job where there is an emphasis on reading background materials and interpreting them. It is highly respected as a subject by many academic institutions.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sherburn High School directly.

Last updated date: 10 March 2017
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