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English Literature

Subject Description

The Advanced course has four components:

• Pre and Post 1900 Poetry
• Pre and Post 1900 Drama
• Unseen Prose and Poetry
• Prose Study (non-exam assessment)

This course is rigorously academic and covers poetry, prose and drama through the ages. Research and independent study skills are developed alongside a strong focus on context, literary theory and criticism.  Students have autonomy in Prose Study task setting and the 2500-3500 word assignment is a clear indicator of potential undergraduate study.

Future Destinations:

A wide variety of course and careers lead on from the study of English Literature. Students who have taken this course may go on to further studies or careers in the Literature, History, Media, Publishing, Creative Writing roles, Marketing, Law, Teaching and more.


A Level

Exam Board:


Extra Curricular

Regular theatre trips; lectures and study days at Universities; elements of drama and design within the curriculum; creative writing opportunities.

Entry Requirements:

Required: Grade 5 English

Desirable: Grade 6 English

Content and Assessment Breakdown:

Unit One


Written examination 2 hours 30% of qualification

Section A – Pre-1900 Poetry (open-book, clean copy)

Geoffrey Chaucer: The Merchant’s Tale.

Section B – Post-1900 Poetry (open book, clean copy)

Sylvia Plath: Poems selected by Ted Hughes.

Ted Hughes: Poems Selected by Simon Armitage

Unit Two


Written examination 2 hours 30% of qualification

Section A – Shakespeare (closed-book)

Henry IV Part 1

Section B – Drama Pre-1900 and Post-1900 (closed-book)

Harold Pinter: Betrayal

Oscare Wilde: Lady Windermere’s Fan

Unit Three

Unseen Texts

Written examination 2 hours 20% of qualification

Section A – Unseen prose

Unseen analysis of a prose extract from either 1880-1910 or 1918-1939.

Section B – Unseen poetry

One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen poem or poetry extract from any period.

Unit Four

Prose Study

Non-exam assessment: 2500-3500 words 20% of qualification

One 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts from different periods, one pre-2000 and one post-2000, nominated by the centre.



Choices include: Ian McEwan – Atonement, Evelyn Waugh – Brideshead Revisited, Jane Austen- Emma, F. Scott Fitzgerald -The Great Gatsby, Audrey Niffenegger -The Time Traveler’s Wife


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