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English Literature A Level at Sheffield College

Course description

About the course

The study of Literature aims to give you the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the study of different forms of literature by encouraging, through close analysis and discussion, a deeper awareness and understanding of a variety of texts. 

You will look at the way writers shape meaning through form, structure and language and how texts relate to their historical and social contexts. The course develops learners’ powers of analysis and reading and writing skills stimulating personal response and engagement with texts.



Course content

The core content of the course includes Love through the Age, Texts in Shared Contexts and Independent Critical Study. Options include WW1 and its Aftermath or Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day

Assessment is through examination and Independent Critical Study. Students are examined in  Love through the Ages) and a study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama text.

During the second year you will complete a piece of coursework: A comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900. This comprises one extended essay and a bibliography.

The important study skills needed for this course are literacy; reading and writing. The key intellectual skills are an enquiring mind and a willingness to engage in literary debate.

Disclaimer: Please note the examination board’s syllabus was in draft form at time of writing and may be subject to change. Please see updates on the AQA website.

Will this subject suit me?

The ideal student would enjoy reading all types of prose; novels, plays, and poetry. You would enjoy discussing meanings in literature and be able to write coherently.

You will enjoy this course if you have an enquiring mind, enjoy reading and want to learn more about how great works of literature convey their ideas. If you are a creative person you will especially enjoy writing inspired by your reading.

Personal study time

A Level students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lessons.  Homework will be set regularly but students are expected to undertake self- directed research as well. Students will receive effective feedback, guidance and help from their tutors.

Qualification title

A Level English Literature

What students say about this subject

I think the course has really improved my writing.

I really enjoyed the different texts that we were able to read.

A really stimulating two years, I feel ready for university.

My analysis of texts has really improved.

Studying English has helped with my other A level subjects.


Entry requirements

To study 3  A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths

To study 4 A Levels: 5 GCSEs at Grade 5 or above, including English Language and Maths

Additional Requirements: GCSE grade 5 - 9 in English Language





Financial information


At The Sheffield College we will always do our best to support you through your studies, to make them as stress free as possible. We have a specialist support team who can give you all the advice you need on all things financial, including what might be available to you, so that you don’t go short and you can concentrate all your efforts into your studies.

Free meals

If you meet the eligibility criteria we’ll be able to support you with free meals. You’ll get an amount of money that you can use within the college shops and diners per day. This will be added to your student ID card which you will just swipe to purchase items.

Travel passes

Students (including Apprentices) of The Sheffield College who live in South Yorkshire are eligible for a 16–18 Student Pass which entitles pass holders to cheaper travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire. Pass holders are also entitled to half fare on Northern train services in South Yorkshire.

Learner Support Fund

If you are enrolled with us, you may receive support towards the cost of:

  • Travel

  • Books and materials

  • Uniform and equipment

  • Essential course trips

  • NUS extra

  • DBS checks needed for your course (previously known as CRB)
  • UCAS registration fee and travel to interviews when applying for university

Future opportunities

Where can it lead?

English can be studied at university as a stand-alone subject or as part of a joint honours degree. It also provides learners with useful skills that may be applied to other areas. 

The study of English not only develops your reading, writing and analytical ability, but it also enables the development of integral skills such as communication, problem solving and team building that you will find applicable for higher education, employment and the wider community.

Further information

Open Days

Why not come and see for yourself. Visit us on one of our open evenings and meet the people who will be teaching you, have a chat about what the course involves and look round our fantastic facilities where you’ll be learning.

Our City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove campuses will be open on the following days:

  • Thursday 25th October 2018, 4pm-7pm
  • Wednesday 21st November 2018, 4pm-7pm
  • Tuesday 29th January 2019, 4pm-7pm
  • Monday 4th March 2019, 4pm-7pm


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: 15 May 2019
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Course code: CRENA1