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English Literature at Bishop Justus Church of England School

Course description

Covering a selection of poetry, prose and drama texts from at least five hundred years of English Literature, this course will provide students with the opportunity to gain an understanding of the writing and the social contexts that produced it. As part of their studies, students will be given the opportunity to visit the theatre, including Shakespeare's Globe and attend lecture workshops both in school and at universities. At AS level, students will complete two units. Unit 1 (LITB1) Aspects of Narrative introduces students to the ways in which literary texts work, with a focus on how narratives are constructed by authors, and the different ways they can be responded to by readers. Students study four texts: two novels (at least one post 1990) and two poets (from 1800 to 1945) from a list provided by the examination board. Unit 2 (LITB2) Dramatic Genres introduces students to aspects of genre -in terms of form (in this unit, drama) and in terms of content and method (up to 2011 this will be tragedy). Students study two plays, one of which must be by Shakespeare. At A2, students will develop knowledge gained at AS level through two further units. Unit 3 (LITB3) Texts and Genres develops ideas on the significance of genre. Texts are grouped within two broad categories: Elements of the Gothic and Elements of the Pastoral. Students study one category. Individual texts are explored and evaluated against some of the principles of the chosen genre, and three texts are compared as representative of that genre. At least one text must be taken from the period 1300-1800. Unit 4 (LITB4) Further and Independent Reading, aims to introduce students to a wide range of tests, some of which may be of their own choosing. Secondly students are introduced to different ways of reading texts, and thirdly students are introduced to some critical ideas and apply these to texts. Students study at least three texts, one of which is an anthology of critical writing.

Entry requirements

Students will need a B grade in English at GCSE.


At AS - Unit 1 is assessed by a written examination - on paper of 2 hours duration (60% of AS, 30% of A level). Unit 2 is assessed by the production of two pieces of coursework, each of 1200-1500 words (40% of AS, 20% of A level.

At A2 - Unit 3 is assessed by a written examination - one paper of 2 hours duration (30% of total A level). Unit 4 is assessed by the production of two pieces of coursework: a comparative study of two texts (1500-2000 words) and the appliation of the anthology to a text or texts of the students choice (1200-1500 words) (20% of A level).

Future opportunities

The course has been designed to: enable candidates to develop personal responses to ideas, observations, experiences, environments and cultures; provide an appropriate foundation for further study of English Literature or related subjects in higher education; find employment in the world of Teaching, the Media, Law or Journalism.You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in English Literature, which could lead onto higher education in English related studies or more general education courses.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bishop Justus Church of England School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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