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English Literature A level at Francis Combe Academy

Course description

A Level English is a course reliant upon Independent study, a love of the written word and the ability to absorb and appreciate the experiences and feelings of writers that span different times and cultures. It requires an open and inquisitive mind and an ability to appreciate literature as an art form and as a form of creative expression.

Course content

Love through the ages is a new A Level specification that we study at Francis Combe. The central approach of this course is one of the historicist method of studying literature. At GCSE, students are introduced to a range of texts and encouraged to reflect on the impact that the social and historical context have on both the writer's attitude and view and the reception of the text by different audiences. This exploration is continued at A level, with a focus on the idea that no text is produced in isolation, but is a product of the time in which it was written.

In Love through the ages, the theme of love, one of the most central themes in literature, is explored across time. Given the spirit of the specification, rather than imposing a uniform list of prescribed set texts, various options are offered in terms of both time period and genre. Students will study a range of texts from drama, to poetry and prose and will be encouraged to deepen their understanding through extensive wider reading. 

Love through the ages course foci: 

  • One drama text: A Shakespeare play from set list (pre-1900) - Othello 
  • One poetry text from set list - Post 1900 poetry anthology 
  • Two prose texts from set list - Class choice 
  • The AQA anthologies of love poetry through the ages allow students to encounter a range of different types of poem as they study representations of love over time. 
  • The range of comparative prose texts on offer allows students to study representations of love by a variety of authors across time. 
  • Students will study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one poetry anthology and two prose texts. They will also respond to an unseen prose extract in the exam. 
  • Students complete one piece of Non-Examination Assessment and this is self-directed and marked both internally and externally. 

Entry requirements

General entry requirement for a 2 year programme of 3 or 4 A levels including the facilitating subjects, is a mostly A*/B profile at GCSE, including 5 A* - C grades, including grade 5 maths and English.

General entry requirement for a 2 year programme of 3 A levels, or a combination of A levels and vocational qualifications, is a mostly B/C profile at GCSE including 5 A* - C grades, including grade 4 English.

Future opportunities

An English A level is highly desirable with many top universities. A level English not only deepens understanding of a range of literary texts, but develops analytical skills, written communication and the ability to reflect on the influence of historical and social factors. Possible careers include journalism, editing, advertising, law, public relations, marketing, publishing, media and project management. The possibilities really are endless. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Francis Combe Academy directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2017
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