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 various literary texts from Renaissance plays to twentieth century 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 from the fin de siecle in the exam.  The coursework, which is worth 20%, is a 2500-3500 word comparative essay. This essay allows you to compare two novels, for example Notes on a Scandal and 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 careers which demand reasoning, analysis and discussion. 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 the link below to view the Student 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

Caitlin Corrigan – Law, Oxford University

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

Throughout my time studying English Literature at Carmel I have been consistently challenged to think for myself and reach my full potential as a learner. The support and guidance I have received from my tutor is second to none, making me assured in my essay writing skills and pushing me to achieve my best.

Additionally, taking advantage of the subject's enrichment opportunities has helped me solidify my analytical abilities and widen my academic scope by studying texts I wouldn’t normally pick up.

Choosing English Literature has made me a well-rounded reader with the ability to confidently interpret texts in depth, and has reinforced my passion for the subject. I am excited to continue my studies with an English degree in September.

Grace Perry