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English Literature A Level at Shirley High School Performing Arts College

Course description

This course gives plenty of opportunities to explore a wide range of texts, and offers many different insights into the world of literature. Students will develop a good knowledge of the literary form and be able to express an educated personal response with confidence and a degree of flair. Much of the course involves discussion and students are expected to have read the text being studied prior to their lessons.

There are also opportunities to attend theatre trips and conferences. The course is stimulating, demanding and highly rewarding.

Entry requirements

Students embarking on studies of literature will need a passion for reading, an inquiring and analytical mind, and the ability to work independently. Students will also need to express their ideas clearly and succinctly.

When qualifying to study A level subjects we will accept a ‘5’ as the equivalent grade for the new GCSE 1-9 measure for English and Maths. Most A level courses require a ‘B’ which is the equivalent of a ‘6’. BTEC Level 2 qualifications will only be counted in place of one GCSE subject. This is because they are not considered to have the required breadth of study necessary for the demands of a varied combination of A level subjects.


Paper 1: Love through the Ages

  • Open book for prose only
  • 3 hours.

Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts (1945-Present)

  • Open book
  • 2 ½ hours.

Non Exam Assessment

  • One extended essay
  • 2500 words and a bibliography

Future opportunities

English Literature A Level is a traditional foundation for any university course involving literary studies. As success depends on the ability to analyse and argue a critical viewpoint convincingly, whilst supporting ideas with textual evidence, English Literature is also a good foundation for other Arts and Humanities degrees or careers, as well as Law.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Shirley High School Performing Arts College directly.

Last updated date: 21 November 2017
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