Exploring literature develops our moral and social imaginations. The primary reason that you pursue this course is because you have a love of literature. You believe that works of literature can affect our perception of the world. You are curious about how literature offers different perspectives on society. Naturally, you will read widely and be expected to engage personally with the texts. You will develop your ability to offer informed, critical responses.
Course Content and Assessment A Level
Component 1: Drama 30%. The theme is ‘tragedy’ and will include the study of one Shakespeare play and one 20th century play. Texts are ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Hamlet’.
Component 2: Prose 20%. The theme is ‘crime’ and will include the study of two texts, one of which will be pre- 1900. Current texts are ‘In Cold Blood’ and ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’.
Component 3: Poetry 30%. To include the study of a named poet and a selection of contemporary poetry. Poets might include Christina Rossetti or John Donne. Coursework 20%: An extended comparative essay based upon two texts linked by theme, movement, author or period.
Extending Your Experience
There will be opportunities to visit the theatre, attend a poetry club and participate in literary events and competitions. There will also be visits from university lecturers and conferences designed to help in your study of the English Literature course and the preparation for the exams.
Pupils will also be expected to read widely and you will be provided with an extended recommended reading booklet to develop your passion for literature and to broaden your knowledge and cultural understanding through independent reading.
Where will this course take me?
A Level Literature could be studied for its own sake. It will provide you with some understanding of the history of English Literature, an opportunity to read widely and also to analyse and interpret texts at a deeper level. The critical skills you develop, and the ability to write fluently, are both valued by university admissions officers. A literature degree will help you to follow a career in journalism, publishing, broadcasting and teaching.