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 a better understanding of interpretations within 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 a variety of literature, 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. The essay allows you to pick a novel of your choice from your own wider reading at A Level.

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

Exam board course specification

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What Our Students Say

At Carmel, I love being independent and having the chance to become myself through the opportunities for enrichment and further study within the college. I love studying A Level English Literature because reading is and has always been a passion of mine, and it gives me the opportunity to examine and enjoy literature even more through a developed understanding of its origins, context and construction.

When people ask me if they should take English Lit, I would always ask whether they enjoy reading. If they do, I would fully recommend the course. I have also enjoyed the opportunities to do sports at Carmel, and have partaken in American Football training with other students and friends. After college, I would love to study English Literature at university, either in the UK or abroad.

Jacob Pedder-Platt

Jacob Pedder-Platt English Literature student