A Level English Literature is a great subject for students who enjoy reading, thinking independently and evaluating ideas.

This is a two-year linear course where you will gain critical appreciation of literary texts. This is accomplished through methods of analysis, expressing this in cogent, detailed and critical essays.

For the exams, you will read and compare various literary texts, from classic plays to modern poetry. You will be evaluating interpretations from your close reading of texts such as The Tempest, The Duchess of Malfi and The Whitsun Weddings in addition to analysing unseen prose and poetry in the exam. The coursework, which is worth 20%, is a 2500-3500 word comparative essay. This essay allows you to compare the modern novel Notes on a Scandal with The Great Gatsby.

Where does an A Level English Literature course lead?

English subjects are challenging, but are an excellent preparation both for university and your future career. Obvious careers include, for instance,  journalism, sales, teaching, management, administration, information management, publishing and careers in the public services.

Course Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in GCSE English Language and a grade 5 in GCSE English Literature (if studied).

A Level English Literature Course Leaflet

Click the link below to view the Course Introduction video

A Level English Literature Course Introduction video

Click here to take a 360 degree tour of the English Literature classroom

Exam board course specification

What our students say about studying English Literature

English Literature Alumni

Edward Hodgson – English Literature, University of Warwick

Samuel Puxley – English Literature & History, Durham University

Hannah Mitchell – English, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Sophie Harrison – English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University

Eva Carroll – English, King’s College, Cambridge

English Literature News

English Literature Trip to London

Star Reciter, Ray, wins Poetry by Heart Award

What Our Students Say

My favourite aspect is the freedom when studying a particular piece. There are multiple critical approaches you can apply while reading, which makes it more personal and enjoyable. Class discussions are always engaging and thought provoking and improve analytical skills.

The coursework component provides freedom to explore your own interpretations and be creative. I chose a different novel from the recommended text and guidance and support is always available. When applying to university and writing my personal statement, the English department recommended books to strengthen my knowledge and also offered mock interviews. The reassurance from by tutor has increased my confidence and will definitely help me in the future, as I aspire to eventually study a Master’s degree in English Literature.

Elizabeth Griffiths