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English Literature AS/A2 Level at The Helena Romanes School and Sixth Form Centre

Course description

Literature as diverse in character as Burgess A Clockwork Orange and Potter’s Singing Detective is put into context with a study of texts from 1400 to the present day. The complete course contains four modules at A level (two of which are coursework).

There are two modules at AS Level (one of which is coursework): both paths of study require students to acquire and use the appropriate literary terminology in writing critically about texts.

Although there are different ways of looking at texts, based on particular approaches or theories –

e.g. Feminist, Marxist – the main aim of this course is to explore the fiction offered in order that the students arrive at an informed personal response. Classroom study is reinforced through theatre trips, the analysis of filmed versions and drama activities.

Presentations and discussion work are a regular feature of this course.

Course content

Unit 1 Aspects of Narrative

Four texts for study:

Two novels (at least one post-1990)

Two poetry texts (1800-1945)

Two sections - one question to answered from each section:

Section A

  • Involves close analysis of narrative method in one text
  • Contains specific questions on each of the set texts
  • One two-part question to be answered on your chosen text
  • Answer required for each of the two parts

Section B

  • Involves comparing an aspect of narrative across three texts
  • Contains two questions, wide-ranging in scope
  • Essay required on the three texts you have not covered in Section A


Unit 2 Dramatic Genres Coursework

Minimum two texts for study within dramatic genre of tragedy

A portfolio of two pieces of written coursework (one may be recreative), 1200-1500 words for each piece.

1. An aspect of dramatic/tragic genre with regard to a Shakespeare play

2. An aspect of dramatic/tragic genre with regard to another play


Unit 3 Texts and Genres Written Paper,

Minimum three texts for study including at least one text 1300- 1800. Candidates choose one topic area for study. Elements of the Gothic or Elements of the Pastoral. For each topic there will be two sections. Candidates answer one question from each section.


Unit 4 Further and independent reading

Minimum of three texts for study including one pre-released anthology of critical material. A portfolio of two pieces of written coursework: comparative study of an aspect of two texts (1500- 2000 words); an application of an aspect of pre-released critical anthology to a literary text (1200-1500 words).



Entry requirements

In order to study English Literature at A Level you must have achieved at least 5 GCSEs A* - C.

In addition to study this subject you must have at least a grade B in English and English Literature.


Exams for Units 1 & 3

Coursework for Units 2 & 4

Future opportunities

Qualifications in English open doors for many careers where high level skills in communication and analysis are required. It should also be the choice for students aspiring to read English at Oxbridge.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Helena Romanes School and Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 05 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years