What will I study?
An interest in reading a wide range of literature will be necessary for this English Literature course, which at AS consists of the study of a novel, modern drama and poetry from 1800 to the present (at least one text you study will have been written after 1990). You will also complete a piece of coursework in which there is the chance to respond creatively to a literary text. You will be expected to make use of the Senior Library for research, to read independently, analyse and take notes on what you have read. The course demands some familiarity with different critical approaches to a text, and the readiness to analyse language in detail.
The A2 course builds on and extends what you will have studied for AS level. You will study more drama and poetry, including Shakespeare, and write a piece of coursework of up to 3000 words in which you will compare aspects of three texts. The topic of this coursework will be decided through negotiation with your teacher, offering support but allowing you to explore areas of your own interest.
English Literature is an excellent course for those who like reading, have enjoyed the literature they have studied for GCSE and who relish the opportunity to explore ideas, both in classroom debate and in written essays. There will also be opportunities to visit the theatre to see a Shakespeare play.
How will I be assessed?
AS Unit 1: Poetry and Prose, 1800 - 1945: Examination (two sections), 60% of AS.
AS Unit 2: Literature Post-1900: Coursework (3000 words in total), 40% of AS
A2 Unit 3: Drama and Poetry pre-1800: Examination, 30% of A Level.
A2 Unit 4: Texts in Time: Coursework, (3000 words in total), 20% of A Level
You should achieve at least a Grade A in English and English Literature, be a keen reader and have an interest in the way language works.
Where will it lead?
The subject is widely acceptable at universities as a qualification for Arts and Law courses. Anyone wishing to study English at University probably has the broadest range of options if he has taken English Literature as a single course at A level. Those who have taken an English degree have a wide choice of careers, particularly in the media or journalism; however, it is such a well-respected subject that it can lead to a myriad of opportunities, even in non-English related careers.