Sixth Form: English Literature

Subject Overview

There are two separate A Levels offered by the English Department: English Language and English Literature.

There are many transferable and desirable skills taught as part of the A Level English Literature A Level course. The specification ensures students can gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected and how they can be interpreted in multiple ways so that students can arrive at their own interpretations and become confident autonomous readers. Students also experience a rich, challenging and coherent approach to English literature that provides an excellent basis for studying the subject at university.

Entry Requirements

  • Grade 5 or higher in English Literature

Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)

Overview of A Level in English Literature (H472)

Learners must complete all components (01, 02 and 03) to be awarded the A Level in English Literature.

Component 01

Shakespeare

  • Students will study ONE Shakespeare play from the following list:
  • Coriolanus • Hamlet • Measure for Measure • Richard III • The Tempest • Twelfth Night
  • There is always an opportunity to see the play in performance, either at the theatre or on DVD

Drama and poetry (pre-1900)

Students will study one pre 1900 play from the following list:

  • Christopher Marlowe: Edward II
  • John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi
  • Oliver Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer
  • Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House
  • Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband

And then one pre 1900 poetry text from the following list:

  • Christopher Marlowe: Edward II
  • John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi
  • Oliver Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer
  • Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House
  • Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband

Again, the plays will be watched in performance at the theatre if a there is a local production or on DVD if one is available.

The three texts chosen for study will be purchased by the students as this will allow them to make detailed notes on their own copies. The exam is closed texts so they will be expected to learn quotations and have a very detailed knowledge of the texts.

This paper is worth a total of 60 marks.

It is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The paper is worth 40% of the A Level.

Component 02

Close reading in chosen topic area

Students study 2 specific texts from ONE of the following topic areas:

  • American Literature 1880–1940
  • The Gothic
  • Dystopia
  • Women in Literature
  • The Immigrant Experience

They will be given an unseen passage from their chosen topic area and use their knowledge to write a detailed critical analysis.

Comparative and contextual study

Students will write a comparative essay using the two specific texts studied from their chosen topic area.

The three texts chosen for study will be purchased by the students as this will allow them to make detailed notes on their own copies. The exam is closed texts so they will be expected to learn quotations and have a very detailed knowledge of the texts.

  • This paper is worth a total of 60 marks.
  • It is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • The paper is worth 40% of the A Level.

Component 03

Students will produce two pieces of ‘coursework’ now referred to as Non Examined Assessments.

They will be given the opportunity to choose their own texts but must adhere to the rubric:

learners are required to study three literary texts

(one text for Task 1 and two texts for Task 2)

  • the three texts must include one prose text, one

poetry text and one drama text

  • the texts must have been first published or

performed in 1900 or later

  • at least one of these texts must have been first

published or performed in 2000 or later

Close reading OR re-creative writing piece with commentary.

Students can choose to produce a creative re-writing of their chosen texts with an accompanying commentary OR a close reading of their chosen text.

Comparative essay

  • This piece will compare two texts.
  • The NEA is worth 40 marks.
  • 20% of the total A Level.

Activities and Trips

There are usually opportunities to see performances of plays which students are studying for those studying English Literature.

Expected Costs

Students are encouraged to purchase the set texts, so that they can annotate them for revision purposes.

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

English Language A Level is often studied in conjunction with other Arts-based subjects. Popular combinations include: Theatre Studies, History, Law and English Language.

English Literature can be studied at degree level and can lead to careers   in journalism, the media, education and law

Subject Resources

www.ocr.org.uk

Other information

This course would appeal to you if:

  • You enjoy reading a wide range of poetry, prose and drama.
  • You relish debate, discussion and analysis of different interpretations of texts.
  • You wonder how historical, social or literary contexts might influence authors.
  • You would like to trace the development of a literary genre over diverse texts.

You are always looking for recommendations of what to read and enjoy recommending