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

Carmel is a place where I can truly be myself. I can share the love of my subjects with likeminded people to truly make the most of my experience here. Studying English Literature develops skills of analysis, critical thinking and articulation of knowledge and ideas; all skills essential for any future career, making it a fantastic subject to study at A Level.

I would recommend this subject because the department is phenomenal. The teaching is consistently of a top quality and tailored to students: if you are struggling, you will get the help you need and if you need challenging, you are sure to be given the resources to help you flourish.

I have travelled to London with the department to watch Doctor Faustus at the theatre as well as visiting the British Library and St Paul`s Cathedral. The best thing about Carmel is that it is never short of opportunities and you will always pushed to be the best possible version of yourself.

When I leave college, I hope to study English Literature at Cambridge University.

Eva Carroll