Accessibility links

English Literature A level at Valentines High School

Course description

This course is designed to build on what students already know from GCSE and:

  • Encourage the development of critical awareness and understanding of individual works of literature.
  • Develop understanding of relationships between texts and of the significance of cultural and contextual influences on readers and writers.
  • Target the core skills every literature student needs to explore and understand a wide range of texts.
  • Allow students to pursue more detailed study in a field of particular personal interest.
  • Develop the valuable transferable skills of sustained research and composition.

Course content

Year 13 A2 Outline

Component 1:

Shakespeare and poetry pre-1900 - Students study one Shakespeare play, the work of one poet (pre-1900) and another drama text (pre-1900). This exam is split into two parts. Question 1 requires students to demonstrate their detailed knowledge and understanding of Shakespeare. Question 2 requires students to compare the work of the poet studied to the second drama text studied. This section requires students to demonstrate their appreciation of the significance of cultural and contextual influences on the writers, readers and/or audiences and be able to explore relationships between their chosen texts. This section requires students to read texts in a variety of ways and respond critically and creatively.

Component 2:

Content of Comparative and contextual study - Students are expected to study a genre of literature: The Gothic / American Literature / Women in Literature / The immigrant Experience / Dystopian Literature. From this genre they will study two prose texts. The exam will test their ability to explore contrasts, connections and comparisons between different literary texts within the context of a specific topic area and explore ways in which texts relate to one another and to literary traditions, movements and genres.

Component 3:

This is a coursework unit and students will study three literary texts (one text for Task 1 and two texts for Task 2). They will write two coursework essays, one will be a focused analysis of an extract from a prose, drama or poetry text that focuses on analysing language in depth and detail. The second piece is examining student’s ability to explore how texts illuminate and connect with each other.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade B in English language and English Literature.


Assessment is exam based and exams are all closed book. 

Future opportunities

English Literature A Level is a well-respected qualification leading to many degree courses. It can be valuable for careers in the Media, the Law, Business, Education, Management or any field in which the knowledge, understanding and insight appropriate to literary study, and accurate and coherent writing are valued.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 September 2016
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years