English Literature

Subject Lead for English: Ms Celia Robb

English Literature by Ms Celia Robb

I have always been fascinated with literature as it provides a lens into the many facets of human experience and condition: it is through the study of English that we truly get a window into humanity. So, in the words of Fitzgerald: “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” Also, studying English allows you to develop a knowledge of literary history, theory, and criticism, and enhances your understanding of a wide range of cultures and intellectual traditions, through the study of seminal texts. However, it also helps to develop transferable skills that are highly sought by a wide range of employers.

Why Study English Literature?

During an English Literature course, students scrutinise and debate a variety of texts, as well as acquiring knowledge of literary movements, periods and critical approaches that have shaped the way we view literature today. When you choose to study English literature at A level, you will develop comprehensive written and spoken communication skills, becoming adept at arguing a point, framing a narrative, and analysing various levels of meaning.

Course Description

In Year 12 students will study

  • Richard III - Shakespeare
  • A Doll's House - Henrik Ibsen
  • Grapes of Wrath - Steinbeck
  • Poetry Anthology of Cristina Rossetti
  • Native Son - Richard Wright

In Year 13 students will study

The contemporary world

  • District and Circle Seamus Heaney 2006 Poetry
  • Jerusalem Jez Butterworth 2009 Drama
  • Saturday Ian McEwan 2005 Prose

Beyond A level

Although there is no one industry which takes precedence, English students are often found where strong communication and written skills are required, which are top priorities for example, within the worlds of media, publishing, and law. This A level also has a long, credible history and that is something which employers’ value.

Entry Requirements

To undertake A level, you should have achieved GCSE grade 6 in either English language or English literature. An enjoyment of reading, discussing, and analysing different styles of literature would be beneficial.

Technical Details
Exam Board OCR
Qualification Type A Level
Course Title English Literature
Specification Code H472
  Number Duration Weighting of total A Level
External Exams (end of Year 13) 2 2hr 30min each 40% each
Coursework 2 4 and 6 weeks 20%
Link https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-and-a-level/english-literature-h072-h472-from-2015/