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English Literature A Level at The Judd School

Course description

Why choose this subject?

English can be combined with a wide range of other subjects. Obviously it complements other Arts subjects, but every year a significant number of students add English to Science subjects, to give their A level course a greater balance.

For those considering going further and studying English at University, it is important to know that most universities offer courses combining English Literature with other subjects, notably Languages, History, Psychology and Sociology, as well as more traditional English Literature degree courses. English Language, Linguistics, Creative Writing and other variations are also offered at degree level.

An interesting recent statistic is that fewer than 50% of all English graduates enter those areas of employment traditionally considered appropriate: publishing, the media, journalism, entertainment, and teaching. Many also enter banking and commerce, industry, the civil service, local government and law.

The study of English at A level also provides a mental discipline applicable to all aspects of learning; the ordering and organising of ideas to shape a coherent answer to a specific question by which the A level Boards set such store can have a beneficial spin-off on other subjects.

Why study it at The Judd School?

English sets in the sixth form are much more informal than GCSE groups. You will be expected to make an input and should not be afraid to have a view and to express it. Often there are no right or wrong answers anyway, so be prepared to have a go.

Course content

What you will be learning (course outline):

Component 1: Drama

Students study one Shakespeare play and one other drama from either tragedy or comedy – both texts may be selected from one or both of these categories. Additionally, students study critical essays related to their selected Shakespeare play. Students’ preparation is supported by Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology – Tragedy or Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology – Comedy

Component 2: Prose

Students study two prose texts from a chosen theme. At least one of the prose texts must be pre-1900.

Component 3: Poetry

Students study: poetic form, meaning and language a selection of post-2000 specified poetry and a specified range of poetry from either a literary period (either pre- or post-1900) or a named poet from within a literary period.

Component 4: Coursework

Students have a free choice of two texts to study. The chosen texts must be different from those studied in Components 1, 2 and 3 and must be complete texts and may be linked by theme, movement, author or period. They may be selected from poetry, drama, prose or literary non-fiction.

Entry requirements

7 in both GCSE English Language and English Literature


How it will be assessed:

Component 1 30% of A Level: Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes. Open book – clean copies of the drama texts can be taken into the examination. The Critical Anthology must not be taken into the examination. Total of 60 marks available – 35 marks for Section A and 25 marks for Section B.

Section A – Shakespeare: one essay question from a choice of two, incorporating ideas from wider critical reading. Section B – Other Drama: one essay question.

Component 2: 20% of the A Level: Written examination, lasting 1 hour. Open book – clean copies of the prose texts can be taken into the examination. Students answer one comparative essay question from a choice of two on their studied theme.

Component 3: 30% of the A Level: Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes. Open book – clean copies of the poetry texts can be taken into the examination. Two sections, of 30 marks each, where students answer one question from a choice of two, comparing an unseen poem with a named poem from their studied contemporary text and one question from a choice of two on their studied movement/poet.

Component 4: 20% of the A Level: Students produce one assignment, an extended comparative essay referring to two texts with an advisory total word count of 2500–3000 words.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Judd School directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years
  • Course code: Edexcel 9ET0