Harborne, Birmingham
0121 429 2838

English Literature


A Level English literature is a relevant, engaging and up-to-date course that approaches the study of literature through the lens of historicism, encouraging the independent study of a variety of texts within a shared context, giving logic and meaning to the way that texts are grouped for study. This unifying approach facilitates the inclusion of a range of wider reading that will extend your experience and appreciation of literature. Offering clear progression from GCSE, this course will allow you to build on the skills and knowledge already gained and prepare for your next steps. The variety of assessment styles used, such as passage-based questions, unseen material, single-text questions, multiple-text questions and open and closed-book approaches will allow you to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research which are valuable for both further study and future employment.

Why choose this?
With the knowledge and skills obtained you could pursue a career in journalism, writing, advertising, law, teaching and many others that require creativity, effective written and oral communication, analytical and evaluative skills as well as the ability to develop thoughtful and convincing lines of argument and interpretation.

Areas of study & assessment
Two examinations.

Paper 1 – Love through the Ages:
Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Pre-1900 Love Poetry (AQA Anthology), ‘The Great Gatsby’.

Paper 2 – Texts in Context – Modern Literature from 1945 to present day:
‘Feminine Gospels’, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘The Color Purple’.

NEA – Independent Comparative Study.  One comparative essay on a pair of texts of the student’s choosing. One text must have been written before 1900.


  • Visits to the theatre
  • Visits to attend lectures on the set texts delivered by academics

English literature is a challenging and fascinating course. Even if you believe that your strengths are mainly in mathematical or scientific subjects, it will broaden your interests and demonstrate your aptitude in a different area. It will identify you as someone with a penetrating, analytical mind who has the ability to reflect on ideas, construct coherent, authoritative arguments, analyse different literary texts and engage with universal themes and writers’ intentions. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion and the set texts. Also, the support and feedback that is provided by the teachers is second to none.

A Level English Literature student