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English Literature A level at Wilberforce College

Course description

If you love reading, have an enquiring mind and want to expand your horizons, studying English Literature will open up new worlds for you!

English Literature, a facilitating subject at Russell Group Universities, will enable you to gain a highly respected academic qualification, as well as gaining a wide knowledge of texts and genres which will in turn help you understand more about culture and history.

Studying and applying literary theory will also expand your insights into issues such as gender, race, class and the workings of the human mind. You will develop high order skills such as analysis and evaluation.

In the second year you will be given exciting opportunities to make independent and creative coursework choices from which you will develop valuable research skills – what better preparation for university and your future career?

Course content

You will study:

  • A range of classic/contemporary texts: Shakespeare, drama, pre-1900 text/post 2000 texts to develop breadth and depth of study
  • Explore aspects of the Tragedy and Comedy genre
  • Apply literary terminology to your reading of texts to understand form/construction of meaning
  • Critically analyse texts and applying literary criticism to texts studied using anthologies
  • Analyse how meaning is created within texts using knowledge of structure and form to shape meaning
  • Evaluate context of production and reception in texts
  • Interpret connections between texts and their differing time periods
  • Form debates and arguments when focusing on the texts and interpret concepts and meaning
  • Have the opportunity for independent learning and choice in the coursework element of the course

Entry requirements

Five A* - C grades at GCSE including a minimum of a grade C in GCSe English Language.


aper 1 - drama - written examination 2 hours 15 minutes 30% of A Level 60 marks

Section A - one discussion question based on Shakespearean play A Midsummer Night’s Dream from a choice of two exploring theme and relevant contextual factors and ideas from your critical reading (35 marks)

Section B - other drama - one essay question based on A Streetcar named Desire, exploring theme and character presentation from a choice of two (25 marks)

Paper 2 - prose - written examination 1 hour 20% of A Level 40 marks.

One question from a choice of two comparing pre-1900 text Frankenstein and post-1900 text The Handmaiden’s Tale from the topic of Science and Society which contain a thematic focus and test your ability to discuss relevant contextual factors.

Paper 2 - poetry - written examination 2 hours 15 minutes 30% of A Level 60 marks

Section A - Post 2000 specified poetry Anthology: one question from a choice of two. Both use the same unseen poem and relate to different studied poems from the Anthology.

Section B - The Romantics (1780-1830) - You will study a range of poetry by different poets belonging to the movement of The Romantics, in the exam you will answer one question from a choice of two. One poem from the collection will be specified and you choose the other to explore and discuss contextual factors

Coursework - one extended comparative essay referring to two texts of your choice, linked by theme, movement, author or period and selected from poetry, drama, prose or literary non-fiction. (60 marks - 20% of overall A level - 2500-3000 words). 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 September 2016

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