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English Language A Level at Maricourt Catholic High School

Course description

This course provides an excellent grounding in Literature. In addition to developing a deep understanding of a range of literary texts the course also provides grounding in critical approaches to literature and offers an opportunity for creative writing. This A Level is recognised by all universities for the excellent grounding which it provides in the study of English and for its critical rigour. It provides an excellent foundation for those planning to go on to study Literature and Language, or Language at degree level.

Course content

Component 1
For section 1 of this exam, students will study Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The examination will require students to demonstrate their detailed knowledge of the play. For section 2, students will read Selected poems of Christina Rossetti and pre- 1900 drama text (Either Edward II, The Duchess of Malfi, She Stoops to Conquer, A Doll’s House or An Ideal Husband). Students will be taught to make connections between these texts and to appreciate the cultural and contextual influences on the writers. This section requires learners to read texts in a variety of ways and respond critically and creatively.

Component 3: Comparative and Contextual study
Students will study Dystopian literature, exploring at least two whole texts. Students will begin their Dystopian study at AS level where they will read Orwell’s 1984 and develop their knowledge of the conventions of the genre. At A level, they will broaden their knowledge through the study of Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. It is expected that pupils will independently read a wide range of dystopian fiction from their reading list.

Component 3: Non-exam assessment
The aim of this internally assess component is to encourage individual study, interest and enjoyment of modern literature. Students are required to study three texts: a prose, a poetry and a drama. The coursework is split into two tasks. For the first task, students are expected to produce a close, critical analysis of their texts (1000 words). The second task has a comparative element, exploring contrasts and comparisons, informed by different interpretations and an understanding of contexts (2000 words).

Entry requirements

Grade B or above in both GCSE Literature and GCSE English Language


Component 1 Examination, 2 hours, 30minutes, closed book, 60 marks.
Section A: Shakespeare
Section B: Drama and Poetry pre-1900
40% of A level grade.

Component 2 Examination 2 hours 30 minutes, closed book, 60 marks.
Section A: Close Reading of Dystopian fiction
Section B: Comparative essay of Dystopian set texts 40% of A level grade.

Component 3 Coursework, 40 marks
20% of A level grade

Future opportunities

GCE Literature is excellent preparation for a degree in Literature or Literature and Language. It is equally good preparation for a range of humanities related degrees. The A Level provides an ideal preparation for careers in journalism, teaching, law, writing, media, public relations, archiving, research, librarianship, to name but a few

Further information

Students will be expected to work both collectively and independently. They will be expected to demonstrate commitment to the course by studying the set texts independently in preparation for lessons. In order to ensure that progress is made, all students will be expected to meet deadlines for work to be handed in and to contribute to class discussions.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Maricourt Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 21 February 2017

Key information