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English Literature at Outwood Academy Hemsworth

Course description

Duration: 2 Years What will I Study?

If you have an interest in reading and literature and want to improve your ability to analyse texts and think critically, our A Level in English Literature is a great choice. You will learn about how and why authors use language to convey different meanings, develop your evaluative skills and improve your ability to compare different texts. Using pre-twentieth century literature as well as some more modern works, the course examines the cultural and social contexts in which different books were written and encourages the effective use of textual evidence to form cohesive and convincing essay responses.

Course content

Course Content

In the first year, you will study a range of texts all related to the theme of Love through the Ages. This will encourage you to be an informed, independent reader and critic of literary texts. Additionally, you will develop your personal responses to literary texts as you prepare for the examination.

At A Level, you will prepare for two examinations: one around a theme of Love Through the Ages and the other on texts related to World War 1 and the Aftermath. In addition, there you will complete an Independent Critical Study which will be a non-examination assessment (NEA). One of the course’s aims is to encourage students to read widely, and so for this component you will choose, with guidance, texts for a comparative study. How to analyse and appreciate literary texts from a range of time frames, including the First World War and the Romantic period. Deconstructing poems, plays and novels will lead to development of empathy, analytical and comparison skills in addition to enhancing knowledge of social, political and historical context.


The following modules represent the structure of the A Level English Literature Courses:


First Year Outline:-


At the first year, this specification will allow centres to construct a coherent course of study in one of three areas of study: Victorian Literature, World War One Literature or The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature. Candidates will study three texts (one of each genre) in detail, plus three texts for wider reading and contextual support. A suggested wider reading list is provided.


The second year Specification has two units:-


Unit 1: Texts in Context


This unit assesses the poetry set text plus candidates wider reading in their chosen area of study. Candidates answer two questions: one on the poetry text, the other linking their wider reading to the focus of a given extract.


Topic List


On set poetry text plus wider reading in one of the following areas of study:-

  • Option A: Victorian Literature
  • Option B: World War One Literature
  • Option C: The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature.

Candidates answer two questions. Question 1 invites candidates to link their wider reading to the focus of a given passage. Question 2 assesses the set poetry text.


Unit 2: Creative Study


This unit assesses the set prose and drama texts. Candidates produce a coursework folder containing two pieces of writing comprising 2,000 - 2,500 words in total.


Students select one prose text and one drama text from a list provided for their chosen area of study (Victorian Literature, World War One Literature or The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature).


This specification operates a consortium network and all centres belong to a local consortium led by a consortium advisor. Consortium meetings are held at least twice a year and provide valuable support and training for teachers, offer opportunities to meet other teachers within the consortium, and enable the useful exchange of ideas and the sharing of good practice.


Second Year Outline:-


In the second year, the specification synthesizes the skills and learning of the whole course. Candidates will prepare for a paper which will contain unprepared passages for close study, comparison and critical commentary on a theme (for the next five years this will be Love through the Ages). In Unit 4, candidates will be encouraged to reflect on ways of reading and writing about texts.


The second year Specification has two units:-


Unit 3: Reading for Meaning


Topic List


Students should read at least the equivalent of three texts on the theme of Love through the Ages including:-

  • Reading in the literature of love including the three genres of prose, poetry and drama.
  • Literature written by both men and women.
  • Literature through time (from Chaucer to the present day).
  • Some non-fiction texts.

The paper will comprise four unseen extracts for close study, comparison and critical commentary.


Two compulsory questions:-

  • One comparing two extracts of the same genre, with close reading of the texts and reference to the wider reading of love poetry.
  • One comparing two extracts (of the remaining two genres), using wider reading of love through literature to inform interpretations.

Unit 4: Extended Essay and Shakespeare Study


Topic List

  • The study of three texts with a shared theme, none of which will have been studied at year 2 and one of which will be a Shakespeare play.
  • An extended essay which will compare two texts of the candidates choice.
  • An essay focusing on an extract of a Shakespeare play requiring a detailed commentary on the extract, assessing its significance in the whole play.




Entry requirements

 5 GCSE's Grade A* -  C (or the new Grades 4 - 9) including Grade B (Grade 5+) at GCSE English Language -  a commitment to reading is essential.


Timed Exams and NEA






Future opportunities

Careers in Teaching, Law, Journalism and Media are just some of the future careers that our pupils have pursued. Many English Literature students go on to University or Higher Education and choose to further their studies of English. However, a range of options are available to Literature students in many other fields. A knowledge and appreciation of Literature enriches and enlivens the world that you inhabit!

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: 13 October 2016
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