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English Literature A level at Long Road Sixth Form College

Course description

This course is ideal for you if you enjoy reading in your own time and if you are interested in analysing novels, plays and poetry and find this satisfying. Learning methods vary and include answering questions, writing essays, exploring the meaning created in texts, watching DVDs, creating displays, individual research, and extra-curricular activities, such as watching texts in performance.  You will work in pairs and in small groups, in addition to taking part in larger group discussions.  As well as learning in the classroom, you will be expected to carry out a substantial amount of reading and writing tasks in your own time.

There is a variety of extra-curricular activities, including theatre trips to the Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company, conferences, poetry readings and visits to museums such as the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge.

You will enjoy and benefit from English Literature if you:

  • are an avid reader who enjoys studying a wide variety of texts from different eras;
  • would like to analyse texts in detail and enjoy debating and expressing your own views and personal responses;
  • are keen to carry out independent research and enjoy writing.

Course content

Year 1

You will study drama and poetry including at least one play by Shakespeare. You will also study prose texts which may be linked by theme or context. This will include a literary topic from the following list:

  • American Literature
  • The Gothic
  • Dystopian Literature
  • Women in Literature
  • The Immigrant Experience

You will learn to identify and comment on writers’ uses and effects of language, form and structure.  Areas of study will include themes, character, motifs, setting, textual structures, narrative methods.  You will also learn to make links between texts and to research and analyse the influences of contexts on the texts you are studying.  This includes the fascinating ways literary texts both reveal and challenge attitudes and values of the cultures in which they were produced.

As well as the set texts, you will be able to read some literary criticism and discuss the different ways readers interpret texts.

Year 2

Along with developing the work from the first year and extending your knowledge and skills by studying further prose, poetry and drama texts, you will also complete coursework.  This will be a study of literature from across the genres of poetry, drama and prose. This will consist of a close analysis and a ‘linked texts’ essay focusing on  connections and comparisons between two texts.

Entry requirements

At least 7 Grade 4s at GCSE in a range of subjects including Maths and English. A Grade 4 or equivalent is required in English Literature if taken at GCSE level.


Assessment will be 80% examination at the end of the second year and 20% coursework.


Future opportunities

The study of English Literature at this level can lead to a range of further studies and careers, such as journalism, publishing, media, teaching and creative writing.

NB If you want to study English Literature at degree level, we recommend you study A level English Literature.

Here are some of the degrees being taken by students who completed their course in 2017: English Literature at Sheffield, American Studies at Manchester, Writing and English Literature at Anglia Ruskin, Fashion Journalism at University College for the Creative Arts, English and Philosophy at Birmingham, English Literature at Brighton, English and Creative Writing at Lincoln, and Intercultural Communication with Business Management at the University of East Anglia.

Further information

Come to our Open Evening on 17th and 18th October 5-9pm.

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: 27 September 2018
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