English Literature is an engaging and challenging A Level course; it is highly regarded by universities and employers as a traditional academic subject and solid foundation for a variety of pathways. In English Literature, students read and respond to texts based on WWI including Sherriff’s Journey’s End, Barker’s Life Class and a collection of poetry. Students also enjoy reading Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Shakespeare’s Othello as part of the ‘Love through the Ages’ unit. Students also have the exciting opportunity to explore their own literary interests through the coursework component. The variety of texts studied and the assessment styles used (passage-based questions, unseen material, single-text questions, multiple-text questions, open- and closed-book approaches) allow students to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research which are valuable for both further study and future employment.
AQA Specification A
Paper 1: 3 hours (40%). Open book in Sec. C only
Paper 2: 2 hours 30 minutes (40%). Open book.
One extended essay comparing two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900. (2,500 words) and a bibliography.
English acts as a good foundation for all further education and employment pathways given its focus on analytical and extended writing skills, however popular progression routes include Law, Education, Journalism, Creative Writing, Media and PR.