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English Literature A-Level at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School

Course description

If you have enjoyed exploring, analysing and discussing texts at GCSE and have a real love of reading, then A level English Literature could well be for you. The course allows you to read widely and engage with a substantial selection of literary work, including drama, poetry and prose. You will get the chance to see how English Literature has developed over the course of history through studying literature from the 16th century such as Shakespeare, Chaucer and Milton right through to modern works from the 21st century.

A Level English Literature allows you to develop a critical awareness and understanding of these different texts and understand the significance of cultural and historical context in shaping both a text and the reader’s response. The courses on offer enable you to become confident and skilled in using written English accurately to express your ideas and structure your arguments; an invaluable skill in many other A level courses.

We work from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it was produced; English Literature A level encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts both historically and generically, and to explore and the contexts within which texts are written, received and understood.

What do I need to succeed at A Level English Literature?

  • Curiosity and an enquiring mind
  • A desire to explore what motivates and drives writers and their characters
  • An interest in the influences of historical context and genre on literature
  • The ability to write coherently and logically and structure your arguments carefully
  • A real love of reading and a desire to stretch yourself beyond the constraints of the curriculum.

Course content

All the courses that we have to choose from require similar skills and have a similar content. You can expect to study:

  • At least one play by Shakespeare such as The Taming of the Shrew or Measure for Measure
  • A selection of poetry from both pre and post 1900 for example Keats and Hardy as well as Philip Larkin and Carol Ann Duffy
  • Novels and prose from different eras such as Wuthering Heights or The Great Gatsby


Entry requirements

We do have a minimum requirement of five grade Bs or higher at GCSE. English Language (minimum Grade C) is also required. There are also entry requirements linked to most AS subjects (usually grade B or better). Admission to Year 13 is currently set at 3 grade Ds from your AS results.

Subject Specific

At least a Grade C in English Language and Literature at GCSE.


All courses we are considering consist of 2 exams units and a coursework unit. In the exams you will be asked to respond to texts that you have studied in detail, passage based questions, shorter essay questions and longer essay questions.

There will be a coursework component in which there will be a comparative element in which the key texts are linked. 

Future opportunities

A Level English Literature graduates can go on to study a myriad of courses at universities and the future career options are virtually limitless! If you choose to do a degree in English Literature you might go onto jobs in television, film, theatre, publishing, public relations and advertising, journalism, education (primary, secondary and tertiary), travel and tourism, events planning, retail management, the law, and a variety of communication fields. Even if you don’t take the subject beyond Sixth Form, university admissions tutors love to see English Literature A Level on your UCAS form because it shows you know how to think for yourself, how to analyse a problem, how to write logically, clearly and in a well expressed way, and how to be open minded and flexible!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lancaster Girls' Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 16 April 2015
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