A Level
English Literature

Course Details

Awarding Body: AQA

Staff Contacts: Ms C Lovell; Mrs D Booth; Mrs C Cooper and Mrs R Richards

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Key features of the course

This course involves reading a wide variety of texts from a range of genres.  Texts will be united by a common theme but will have been produced during different historical eras. Throughout the course critical debate will be encouraged and you will be required to develop your own interpretations of texts informed by literary criticism from a range of perspectives.  This will enhance your ability both to read critically and to express your ideas effectively, using literary terminology and a coherent structure. 

In Year 12 you will follow the unit Love through the Ages, which includes a Shakespearean play, a range of poetry and a modern novel. You will be introduced to all 5 of the assessment objectives and will practice analysing language at the required depth and with reference to social context and critical debate.

In Year 13 you will follow the unit World War One and its Aftermath. The texts studied are the Blackadder Goes Forth scripts, an anthology of war poetry and the modern novel A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry. In this year you will consolidate the skills introduced in Year 12 and focus on constructing an argument in relation to an essay question. You will also consider a range of critical perspectives and use these to develop your own interpretations.

You will also complete an independent essay for which you will select two texts that interest you, in consultation with your teacher, and will write a comparative essay based on a theme that both texts have in common. 

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Entry
Requirements:

At least five GCSEs at Grade 4 with a minimum of a Grade 6 in English Language and Literature.

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What could this course
lead on to?

Students of English Literature go on to pursue careers in a wide range of fields. Some of the most popular are journalism and other areas of the media, teaching, publishing, law, copywriting, arts administration, HR, marketing and public relations.

English Literature has a range of transferable skills, including critical reasoning, debating skills, constructing an argument and interpreting a variety of sources. These will be valuable for a rage of degree courses and potential careers.

 

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Future prospects
and careers

English Literature is a facilitating subject, which means universities look favourably on it when selecting students for a wide range of subjects. Any subject that requires students to read at length, including non-literary texts, or to write at length, will consider an A level in English Literature as good preparation.  Degrees in English, history, law, and a range of social sciences and humanities subjects, as well as media focused courses, are all popular among students with A levels in English Literature.
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What type of student is this
course suitable for?

This course is suitable for anyone who enjoys reading and is happy to do so in their own time; most of the reading for this course will be done independently. A critical and analytical mind is also a requirement as you will need to deconstruct the texts we study and convey your analyses of them in an appropriately academic written style. It is also important to be willing to discuss and debate ideas in small groups. 

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Assessment
Structure

It is important to understand the assessment structure of the course. What percent are the units ? Are they internally or externally assessed ? Are they exams or coursework?

Unit 1

  • Love through the Ages
  • Terminal examination of 3 hours. 40% of the final grade.

Unit 2

  • World War One and its Aftermath
  • Terminal examination of 2.5 hours. 40% of the final grade.

Unit 3

  • Independent critical study: texts across time
  • Coursework essay of 2500 words. 20% of the final grade.
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