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English Literature A-Level at New College Pontefract

Course description

English Literature provides you with the opportunity to develop your interest and enjoyment in literary studies. You will explore challenging ideas, as expressed through poetry, prose and drama from different periods. You will be encouraged to develop your own responses to texts, considering other readers’ interpretations, with a deepening appreciation of the significance of cultural and historical influences upon readers and writers. The course is of interest to anyone keen to find out about the way literature challenges conventional thinking in the field of human relationships and ideas.

Course content

Year 12

Unit 1

Section A: You will study Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002–2011

Section B: You will study one contemporary drama text.

(A Streetcar Named Desire).

Unit 2

Section A: Prose Study:

You will compare two novels on a set theme: Science and

Society. (Frankenstein and The Handmaid’s Tale)


Year 13

Unit 1

Section A: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Section B: A Streetcar Named Desire

Unit 2: You will compare two novels: (Frankenstein and

The Handmaid’s Tale)

Unit 3: A set poem or genre alongside the modern

poetry anthology

Section A: Comparison of a named poem from the anthology,

with an unseen poem.

Section B: Studied movement or poet. E.g. John Donne



The coursework element is a long essay, comparing poetry, prose, drama or literary non-fiction, 2,500-3,000 words in length.


Entry requirements

Level 5 English Language and Level 5 English Literature


AS is assessed by 100% terminal examination.

A2 is assessed by 80% terminal examination and The coursework element is a long essay, comparing poetry, prose, drama or literary non-fiction, 2,500-3,000 words in length.


Financial information

Financial support can be provided to students of families who are on low income to help with extra costs of staying on in education. If you need any further information please visit our website or contact student services.

Future opportunities

Typically, possible careers include teaching, the law, the civil service, journalism and the media.  However, because of its traditional status as a core subject at the heart of the humanities, English Literature graduates are recruited into a very wide range of professions.

Further information

How much private study should I expect to do?
As an approximate guideline Year 12 subjects require three to four hours of independent study each; Year 13 subjects four to five hours each.

What materials will I need to purchase?
You will need your own pens, paper and folders.  You will also need to purchase your own copies of the set texts.

What is the exam board?


This subject is for you if…

you enjoy analysing and discussing poetry, novels and plays and writing analytical essays.


This subject is not for you if...

you don’t like reading, you don’t like discussing a range of texts, and you don’t like writing about texts.


“English has enabled me to delve deeper into wider aspects of Literature, taking me out of my comfort zone whilst both challenging and fascinating me.”                                                               Georgia Bridgett, Carleton Community High School

“English is my favourite subject! The teachers are enthusiastic and really supportive. My experiences with the English Department at New College have inspired me to study the subject at university.” Keelan Loveday, Shafton ALC


How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 06 October 2017
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