English Literature

What are the entry requirements?

5 GCSEs at A* – C with a minimum of a B in English Language and Literature.

Course Outline


Component 1: Shakespeare and poetry pre-1900 (50% of AS Level)

Component 2: Drama and prose post-1900 (50% of AS Level)


Component 1: Drama and poetry pre-1900 (40% of A Level)

Component 2: Comparative and contextual study (40% of A Level)

Component 3: Literature post 1900 Coursework (20% of A level)

How will I be assessed?

The new A-level is linear so assessment of each student’s knowledge and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study.


Component 1: Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes (Closed text), 60 marks

Component 2: Written Exam: 1 hour 45 minutes (Closed text), 60 marks


Component 1: Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes (Closed Text), 60 marks

Component 2: Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes (Closed text), 60 marks

Component 3: Non-examined assessment, 2 essays of 3000 words over all, 40 marks

What will I study?

The courses provide the opportunity for students to study a variety of texts from different genres and different time periods. As with GCSE, students will be examining Drama, Prose and Poetry. The texts studied could range from those written in the 14th Century, such as Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’, through to those written post 2000, such as Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’. At least one Shakespeare play will be studied. They will also be required to apply their knowledge and skills to previously unseen texts.

These qualifications will enable the students to: explore and understand a wide range of texts; engage critically with texts; develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in writing and explore the contexts of the texts and others’ interpretations of them. The coursework element provides opportunities for students to extend their own reading of Literature and work independently which is a good stepping stone for many University courses. Reading, essay writing and discussion work are key features of these courses.

Where can it lead me?

This subject can lead to the further study of English and related subjects in higher education e.g. journalism, law, teaching. Equally, English Literature is widely respected and is an effective complement to any combination of subjects. The skills learnt on this course are also very useful in a variety of careers.

Course Information
  • Course Id:OCR

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