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English Literature A level at Sandwell College

Course description

If you love reading and have a genuine interest in different types of literature, then this course is for you! The study of English Literature is for anybody interested in how and why people live their lives the way they do: it involves thinking about life and death, love and relationships, good and evil. You will study nine texts in total from the three main genres of prose, poetry and drama, and from Shakespeare to twenty-first century writers, with the two main themes of Love Through The Ages and Modern Times. You will develop critical preferences and support them with evidence and relevant terminology. You will explore relationships between texts and the contexts in which they are written and received, and will draw out similarities and differences between texts. You will debate the opinions of other readers and develop your own informed personal responses. English Literature will help you to develop your written and spoken communication skills as well as to think rigorously, interrogate texts for meaning, and construct and express convincing arguments.

Course content

English Literature is a single qualification that can be studied in either your first or second year as an AS qualification, or over two years as a full A Level.

For the AS Level, you will learn how to analyse how techniques produce meanings in texts. You will study one Shakespeare play, an anthology of post-1900 poems, and two novels; you will be examined on all of these, and also on a previously-unseen prose extract.

For the A Level exams, you will revisit three of your AS texts and will additionally study one play, one novel and one poetry collection, all post-1900. For coursework, you will study one further novel and will work independently on a text of your own choosing (negotiated with your teacher); you will write a 2500-word comparative analysis of these texts in their respective contexts.

Entry requirements

All students studying for any AS English qualification will be expected to have a minimum of five GCSEs grade A*-C in academic subjects. These must include a grade C or above in GCSE English Language and a grade C or above in GCSE English Literature. In order to progress from AS to A2, students need at least a D grade at AS Level.


AS Literature is assessed by two examinations. A2 Literature is assessed by three examinations and one coursework essay.

Future opportunities

Most students will go on to study at university. Many A Level English students go on to take the subject at degree level; some choose to follow degrees in Journalism, Creative Writing and Media related courses. A Level English Literature is a very versatile subject to study and if you are considering going into employment after College, this qualification will demonstrate your ability to communicate at a high level of competency. The study of English is useful for a wide range of careers including the legal profession, teaching, the media, the forces and marketing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sandwell College directly.

Last updated date: 01 June 2016

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