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English Literature A level at The Archbishop's School

Course description

-level English Literature is a two year course covering a range of engaging and challenging texts. All components are assessed at the end of year 13. Skills of analysis, interpretation and comparison, begun in GCSE, will continue to be developed.


The course consists of four components; three examinations and one coursework.


Component 1: Drama – 30%


  • One Shakespeare play and one other drama
  • Texts studied may differ from year to year. Texts studied this year are: ‘Hamlet’ and Tennesee Williams’, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’
  • Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes
  •  Open book – clean copies of the drama texts can be taken into the examination


 Component 2: Prose – 20%


  • Two prose texts from a chosen theme. At least one of the prose texts must be pre-1900
  • Texts studied may differ from year to year. Texts studied this year are: Bram Stoker, ‘Dracula’ and Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’
  • Written examination, lasting 1 hour
  • Open book – clean copies of the prose texts can be taken into the examination


Component 3: Poetry – 30%


  • Study of poetic form, meaning and language
  • a selection of post-2000 specified poetry and a specified range of poetry from:



● a literary period (either pre- or post-1900)


● a named poet from within a literary period


  • Texts studied may differ from year to year. Texts studied this year are: Romantic poetry and the set post-2000 poetry
  • Written examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Open book – clean copies of the poetry texts can be taken into the examination


Component 4: Coursework – 20%


  • one extended comparative essay referring to two texts
  • advisory total word count is 25003000 words

Course content

What will I learn?


·      how the features of prose fiction, drama and poetry function

·      how writers use language, structure and form for effect

·      the varied ways that texts can be interpreted by different readers

·      the ways texts can be grouped and compared to inform interpretations

·      the relevance of genre in relation to the particular texts studied and how texts are influenced by literary conventions

·      the importance of the relationship between texts, making comparisons between texts in the light of interpretations by other readers

·      the significance of the cultural and contextual influences under which literary texts are written and received

·      how to analyse texts from a critical perspective

·      how to respond creatively, relevantly and in an informed way to texts using appropriate terminology and concepts as well as coherent and accurate written expression

Entry requirements

5 A* - C at GCSE, including English and Mathematics, Grade B in GCSE English Literature.


If you choose to study English Literature in the Sixth Form, it is hoped that you will read widely with interest, understanding and enjoyment; think critically and independently and write cogently and lucidly.  You must be prepared to set aside time outside school to read set texts and other related material.  Furthermore, you must develop a responsible attitude towards the completion of written work, keeping notes and the development of files of relevant material concerning particular authors, periods and genres.  Sixth Form teaching will not simply be programmed direction, but will include presentation, guidance, discussion and research.  

Future opportunities

Many English Literature students from The Archbishop’s School have gone on to study English Literature at a wide range of universities throughout England, Scotland and Wales.  Others have taken degrees in such subjects as Journalism, Drama, Law and Education. The skills of close reading, comparison, interpretation, evaluation, research and articulate expression are widely recognised by employers as well as institutions of Higher Education.

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: 30 January 2017
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