English Literature

Subject Leader
Mrs Murphy
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Aims of the course

The A level course in English Literature is a two-year study of literature through the lens of genre and theory, encouraging the independent study of a range of texts within a shared context, giving logic and meaning to the way that texts are grouped for study.

This stimulating new specification facilitates a range of wider reading and the application of Literary Theory to a variety of contexts.

Course content

Paper 1 – Literary Genres: Aspects of Tragedy

Study of three texts:

  • Shakespeare’s Othello
  • A second drama text: Shakespeare’s Richard II
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Paper 2 – Texts and genres: Political and Social Protest

Study of three texts:

  • A post-2000 text: ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini
  • A pre-1900 text: Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Coursework Element – Theory and Independence

Students write about two different literary texts of their own choice within the framework of literary theory. Students can take up the exciting opportunity to make one of these task re-creative.


Paper 1 – Written Exam, 40% of A level

Paper 2 – Written Exam, 40% of A level

Coursework – 20% of A level

Assessment is at the end of A-level course.

Career Opportunities

The transferable skills that are developed in the study of English Literature will allow access to a range of career opportunities. The A level is highly regarded by university as a facilitating subject that allows a range of different study and career paths. However, there are certain sectors that are particularly relevant:

  • Media, in particular journalism
  • Publishing
  • Law
  • Teaching and education
  • Marketing, PR and advertising