English Literature A Level

Departmental contact

Mrs  Meredith – meredith.a@myton.co.uk

Examining board & Qualification

OCR – A LEVEL

Entry requirements

At least a grade 6 in GCSE English Literature

Students say

“You never truly appreciate the beauty of a novel until you see it from a range of perspectives. The course allows both a creative and an academic freedom. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who not only loves reading, but also to those who are excited to embrace Literature and the written word from a variety of perspectives.”

WHY STUDY THIS SUBJECT?

English Literature is a two-year course for those who love reading and enjoy immersing themselves in poetry and drama as well as the novel. Reading for pleasure is a key characteristic of a successful Literature student.

You will engage with a variety of texts ranging from Chaucer to contemporary post-1990 fiction and be encouraged to share your opinions and make informed judgments about those texts. Literature can be taken as a stand alone course or as a complement to other arts-based subjects.

WHAT SKILLS WILL I DEVELOP?

In English Literature you will be encouraged to develop your skills of analysis and interpretation as well as your understanding and appreciation of a variety of literary genres. You explore the context behind a text’s production and consider the contexts in which it is received. You will be introduced to key literary terms which you will use in written work to express your views and show your understanding. You will develop your ability to present a well structured, clearly written discursive argument as this is very much an essay-based subject. You will also be encouraged to discuss your views with your peers in class.

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

Component 1 Shakespeare, Drama and Poetry pre-1900

Written Exam
Texts could include a range from Christopher Marlowe to Oscar Wilde and Geoffrey Chaucer to Christina Rossetti.

Component 2 Comparative and Contextual Study

Written Exam including close reading
Themes include: American Literature 1880–1940; The Gothic; Dystopia; Women in Literature and The Immigrant Experience.

Component 3 Literature post-1900

Non-examined assessment
Study of 3 texts: Poetry, prose and drama all published post 1900. 1 text must have been published post 2000.

Task 1: Close reading or re-creative writing with commentary
Task 2: Comparative essay

HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?

Component 1 and 2 together are worth 80%.
Component 3, the Non-Exam Assessment is worth 20%.

WHAT ARE MY POST-18 OPTIONS?

You will leave the course with the ability to confidently present your independent views in written and spoken forms.

As one of the key skills taught in Literature is developing and presenting a coherent argument, the subject leads naturally into a wide variety of Post-18 options. In the past candidates have gone on to study a very broad range of subjects at university, including Law, Chemistry, and History as well as Literature, Creative Writing and Journalism.

WHAT EXTRA-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE?

In English Literature you may attend study days related to your texts as well as relevant theatre productions.

Recently, for example, students saw King Lear at the National Theatre, The Glass Menagerie at the Warwick Arts Centre and Dr Faustus at the Globe. Last year we also attended a lecture day in Birmingham on The Handmaid’s Tale.

In recent years trips have included a visit to the Lake District whist studying Wordsworth and a visit to the Tate Britain to see an art exhibition of the Gothic whilst studying Frankenstein.

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