English Literature


English Literature is a traditional A level subject, highly respected by universities and ideal in combination with a range of other subjects, including Maths and the sciences, for example, as well as other arts or humanities subjects. Many students choose “Lit” in order to pursue their passion for English Literature.

The subject certainly requires you to read independently – including the set texts, critical works and books from the reading list provided. Wider reading is essential and independent learning and thought are also actively encouraged. You will write plenty of essays too. Becoming a regular and independent reader will help you to cope with all your other subjects and any degree course.

Most students find the lessons interesting and stimulating: debate and discussion are actively encouraged; students also give presentations on texts and prepare materials for the class to share.

A Level Literature from September 2015: AQA Literature B

All students will sit the AS examinations and gain a qualification before choosing whether or not to proceed with the full A level.


Aspects of Tragedy: Drama, closed book 1 ½ hour exam

Othello by William Shakespeare

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

 Aspects of Tragedy: Prose and Poetry, open book, 1 ½ hour exam

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Poetry of Thomas Hardy OR the (AQA) Poetry Anthology

A Level

Component 1: ‘Aspects of tragedy’ –2 ½ hour exam

Othello by William Shakespeare

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Component 2: ‘Elements of Crime or Political Writing’ – 3 hour exam

You will study three texts, one of which will be poetry

Component 3: Theory and Independence

Two non-examined essays of 1500 words each based on two further texts and linked to a critical anthology supplied by the examination board. This component encourages a high degree of independence in your response to texts

Why study English Literature?

‘It offers challenge and requires dedication…..and the texts make you think for yourself’

‘Studying the contexts of literature develops your wider knowledge’

‘Literature relates to life, to people, to situations and to feelings’


Year 13 Course Structure: 2015-2016 only

Our current year 13 students are working towards the previous specification and will complete the following units.

Unit 3: Texts and Genres written paper, 2 hours closed book

Doctor Faustas by Christopher Marlowe

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Unit 4: Further and independent research, coursework

A portfolio of two pieces of written coursework

  1. Comparative study: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Charlotte Grey (1500-2000 words)
  2. An application of an aspect of pre-released critical anthology to a literary text (1200-1500 words)