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English Literature A Level at West Somerset College

Course description

You will be well suited to a Literature A Level if you enjoy reading, arguing your opinion, writing critically and have a keen eye for detail and analysis. It is a rigorous and demanding course and you will need to be a confident independent learner.

The course is themed around the tragic genre. We explore the development of tragedy from its roots in ancient Greece through to the modern day. You will explore how narratives work; explore a range of different forms: poetry, prose and drama; analyse texts as products of their time and consider the function literature has played in shaping our culture.

Course content

You will learn a diverse range of skills. You will become a confident critical writer, be able to analyse texts insightfully, you will learn about history, you will learn about language, you will learn about people, their motivations and their passions.

You will study:

  • A collection of political and social protest writing
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • A modern play: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Millar
  • A collection of poetry by John Keats
  • A Critical anthology of theoretical writing

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at Grade 5/C or above including English and Maths. It is desirable to have a Grade 5 or higher in English Literature.


The course is assessed by two formal examinations (80% of marks) and one written non-examined unit of personal study (20% of marks).

Future opportunities

English Literature can facilitate a wide range of future academic or work based pathways. Many of our students go on to study a Literature or English based degree. It is a qualifying subject for Law and is a popular choice alongside History, Psychology, Sociology, and Modern Foreign languages.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 October 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years