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English Literature A Level at Southern Consortium Sixth Form

Course description

Component 1: Drama and Poetry pre-1900 – 40%

Component 2: - Comparative and Contextual Study – 40%

Component 3: – Literature Post-1900 – 20%

Course content

Component 1: Drama and Poetry pre-1900 – 40%

Studied in Year 13, this exam unit is split into two Sections:-

Section A - Shakespeare i) close analysis of a single section, ii) whole text essay.
Section B – Drama and Poetry pre-1900 – Comparative Essay

Component 2: - Comparative and Contextual Study – 40%

First studied in Year 12, this unit is based on a chosen Topic Area. To maximise expertise, and the possibilities for sharing of resources, this is the same across all the school sites. The Consortium Topic Area is The Gothic

The exam is split into two sections:-
Section A:- Critical Analysis of Unseen Passage from Topic Area
Section B:- Comparative Essay:- Dracula – Bram Stoker or Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
and The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter

Through this Unit, students develop a wide-ranging critical awareness of the genre of The Gothic. Comparative study of the named texts allows them to examine the themes central to the genre including presentation of women; the use of horror/supernatural to unsettle conventional reason; the nature of the Other and the unknown, and how these are considered in both a C19th and late C20th context.

The Unit also requires students to read a wide range of extracts from other Gothic texts which therefore allows them to evaluate how individual authors draw on the conventions of the genre and adapt them for their own purposes.

Component 3: – Literature Post-1900 – 20%

Completed in Year 12, this Coursework unit is split into two essays, covering one novel, one play and one poetry text:

Texts being offered in 2016-7 are:-

Task 1: Close Analysis:- Rapture - Carol Ann Duffy

Duffy’s text is a highly crafted collection that explores with delicacy, humour and challenging honesty, the breakdown of a relationship. Love, in all its pain and glory, is here examined with the minute attention that only a poet’s acute facility with language can achieve, and students learn how to analyse exactly how Duffy employs her skills.

Task 2: Comparative Essay:- A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

Through detailed comparative reading, students develop a strong awareness of how Williams and Kesey question their post-WW2 American society and expose its limits and possibilities. For Williams, this is achieved through his exploring the conflict between two cultures of the American South, the passing Antebellum South and the coming modern South of New Orleans. For Kesey, he confronts the oppressive world of Eisenhower’s 1950’s America and asks what life is being lost by its enforcement of conformity.



80% external exam; 20% internally assessed coursework

Future opportunities

Studying English Literature at A-Level is looked upon very favourably by all higher education establishments. It shows you can analyse in great detail, express your ideas articulately, review texts critically and cope with a highly academic subject. A qualification in English Literature will open doors to both creative and academic pathways.

Possible careers: Journalism, Publishing, Teaching, Advertising, Law, Social Work/Counselling, Human Resources/Training, Public Administration, Media/Broadcasting.

Further information

Students are free to read any of the named texts above prior to starting the course. They are particularly advised to begin research into the genre of The Gothic.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Southern Consortium Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 30 November 2017
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Key information


  • More information
    • Riverside School, opened in September 2013, is a popular and successful school serving the local community with the very highest standard of education to ensure “Excellence for All”.

      Joining the Southern Consortium in September 2017, Riverside Campus will be a new Sixth Form housed in a modern and exceptionally well resourced new school building. Facilities will be unrivalled. Expectations for sixth form students will mirror that of all Southern Consortium school sites. Excellent teaching and learning will be coupled with a wide range of enhancement activities to ensure that all students fulfil their academic potential and achieve their life goals. There will be plenty of opportunity for private study to ensure academic excellence is achieved in a supportive and caring environment, as well as opportunities to participate in highly effective aspirational programmes, with links to Russell Group Universities.

      This new school Sixth Form will have learning at the heart of everything, whilst celebrating diversity and ensuring respect for all its students in order to meet the high aspirations it has for all.

      Consortium Transport

      The Consortium provides a friendly and efficient bus service, which is free to students, that moves students at lesson changes between Consortium school sites.