This course will help you to develop your interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies. You will be introduced to the discipline of advanced literary studies and learn how to make informed personal responses to a range of texts. You will be presented with opportunities for reading widely and making creative and informed responses to each of the major literary genres of poetry, prose and drama.

As you progress, your studies will be extended in breadth and depth, developing and enhancing your techniques of analysis, evaluation and comparison of literary texts in the context of a wider range of texts of cultural and literary significance.


  • Component One: Poetry
    Develop your ability to read widely and engage critically with a range of poetry from different times.  

  • Component Two: Drama
    Explore the changing traditions of drama over time. This module includes a focus on Shakespeare.

  • Component Three: Unseen Texts
    Synthesise, reflect and apply your knowledge and skills of literary analysis to the examination of unseen prose and unseen poetry texts. Approach in a personal and engaged way and demonstrate your own critical skills.

  • Component Four: Prose Study
    Show knowledge and understanding of ways in which texts relate to one another and to literary traditions, movements and genres.


  • Component One: Poetry
    What is assessed? Your close analysis and wider knowledge of your set texts with some focus on making connections between texts.
    How am I assessed?
    Examination. This is worth 30% of your A Level grade.
  • Component Two: Drama
    What is assessed? Your close analysis of one set Shakespeare text and your study of a pair of plays and their connections.
    How am I assessed?
    Examination. This is worth 30% of your A Level grade.

  • Component Three: Unseen Texts
    What is assessed? Your ability to find meanings and interpretations in both poetry and prose, while considering contextual factors and associated critical theory and reader response.
    How am I assessed?
    Examination. This is worth 20% of your A Level grade.

  • Component Four: Prose Study
    What is assessed? Your consideration on how texts relate to each other and different cultural and contextual influences.
    How am I assessed?
    Non-exam assessment with a focus on two prose texts by two different authors from two different periods. This is worth 20% of your A Level grade.

Useful Links


  • Orwell Youth Prize
    Students from Years 11-13 take part in two workshops led by external facilitators (including a published and award-winning author). Following these workshops which enhance their creative writing skills and critical viewpoints, students are able to enter the creative writing competition. Last year, a Year 11 student was runner-up in the Intermediate category and a Year 12 student won the overall prize for the Seniors. The Celebration Event and prize giving took place at Pembroke College, Oxford, and featured a debate led by Rick Edwards, as well as workshops from journalists and writers.
  • Shakespeare Schools Festival
    Students from all year groups rehearse an abridged Shakespeare play and perform it to a paying audience at a professional theatre alongside three other schools (each having chosen a different play).  Across the country there are around 1500 schools who take part.  After our success with The Tempest, Much Ado about Nothing, Henry V and Titus Andronicus, the play for 2017 will be Othello.

Future Paths

  • Alumni

A number of our students have used their A Level studies within the English faculty as a stepping stone to further education and careers. We have alumni who have progressed into the worlds of teaching, broadcast journalism and law to name but a few. Currently, some notable examples of further study include a student studying English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford, another pursuing Creative Writing, a Media and Law student at the University of Liverpool and a student of Linguistics (currently exploring the ‘Language of Brexit’ for her dissertation) at Lancaster.

  • Further Education
    With a qualification in English, you could progress to university.
    Potential courses include:
    > Creative Writing
     > English
     > History
     > Journalism
     > Media and PR
  • Careers
    Some of the careers you can go into with an English qualification include:
    > Civil Service
    > Journalism
    > Marketing, Advertising and PR
    > Media
    > Publishing
    > Teaching

Combined with other qualifications and study, you may also go into:
> Academia
 > Finance
 > Law