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English Literature AS & A Level at Cardinal Newman Catholic School ~ A Specialist Arts and Community College

Course description

Studying English Literature is more than just an opportunity to indulge your love of reading and discussing books. It develops your critical, analytical and research skills, which are vital whatever you plan to study at university. It also offers a chance to develop your own writing and produce original work – another extremely useful preparation for Higher Education. English Literature is accepted for a wide range of university courses. Students have gone on to study English and American literature, train as primary and secondary school teachers, and pursue careers in publishing, journalism and creative writing.

Course content

You will study texts drawn from the three main types of literature – prose, poetry and drama. For prose, you will study two novels and compare the ways in which they present a theme. For poetry you will study an anthology of 21st century poems, and a further anthology based on a particular poet or movement. You will also learn how to analyse unseen poetry and compare it to poetry you already know. For drama you will study a Shakespeare play and a further, more modern, play and will learn how to discuss their treatment of a theme or message. For coursework, you will synthesise these skills and compare two texts of your choice from a selection, learning how to research, plan and write an extended study.

Entry requirements

The entry requirement is that a student must have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C (including English and English Literature). In addition, students must achieve a grade B in either English or English Literature.


This is a linear A Level, with all assessments at the end of your second year. You will take three exams; one for each of the types of literature – Prose, Poetry and Drama. Your coursework essay will make up 20% of your total grade. There will be internal assessments throughout the course to monitor and develop your progress.

Future opportunities

Successful completion of this course will provide you with the essential qualities and background to choose from a wide range of careers. These include marketing, management, teaching and media. Many students progress to degree level study of single honours English, journalism, combined and joint honours courses.

The majority of our students progress onto Higher Education, studying a wide variety of subjects. Related degrees our students have gone on to study include speech & language therapy, education and English, teacher training both primary and secondary, English, English literature, English & American literature, linguistics, publishing, journalism and creative writing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cardinal Newman Catholic School ~ A Specialist Arts and Community College directly.

Last updated date: 08 December 2016
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