Why study English Literature?
A Level English Literature will allow you to develop forensic skills of analysis, research and critical thinking. It helps you understand different perspectives, other worlds and viewpoints and unleashes the imagination. You will learn about some of the most talented writers globally – writers from the past and fantastic contemporary writers too.
If you enjoy reading, critical thinking and analysis, English Literature is the right course for you. We debate and explore multiple meanings, points of view, and how a text is constructed.
You will have the opportunity to read, discuss and debate some of the most interesting literature.
We consider how a text can be read and understood in different ways; we investigate the power of the language, the ideology behind it, how different theorists might view it and how we respond to its power, ideas and meanings.
We look at key issues and theories for example jealousy, power, narrative structures, magical realism, the modern novel, post-colonialism, psychoanalytical literary theory and new historicism.
You will explore how writers craft their writing – and learn how to write your own lively and well-argued essays; you will be encouraged to develop creative, analytical and critical skills.
Such skills are highly-regarded and will be useful in many other subjects.
Our lessons are lively and challenging – you will need to be ready to have a point of view and evidence to support it! We will interrogate our texts and debate different meanings. It will be focused, fun and intellectually challenging!
We also achieve excellent results.
The Course and Its Structure
AQA English Literature A focuses on the theme of Love through the Ages, and will give you the opportunity to experience some of the very wide variety of literature written on this interesting theme. The theme of 'love' is taken in its broadest sense, and we will study texts that deal with romantic love, obsessive love, dangerous love, and unrequited love. As well as Othello by William Shakespeare we will read The Awakening by Kate Chopin, and Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy.
We also examine some of the most interesting examples of poetry and stunning contemporary writing.
Paper 1: Shakespeare, Unseen Poetry and Comparative Texts – The Awakening by Kate Chopin and Love Poetry Post 1900 Anthology
Paper 2: Feminine Gospels by Carol Ann Duffy, Unseen Prose and Comparative Texts – Translations by Brian Friel and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
In your final year you also complete an extended essay (NEA) where you choose a theme and two texts for analysis – recent successful topics have included elements of myth and fairy tale, representations of madness, Victorian crime, alienation, dystopian worlds, and representations of masculine/feminine identity.
If you love reading and writing, and have an appreciation of literature, then English Literature is the perfect course. It is interesting, relevant and allows you to develop substantial skills in forensic analysis and critical thinking as well as a strong writing style. Additional opportunities include a Creative Writing Club and a Debating Society. This year we enjoyed theatre trips to see Othello and Witness for the Prosecution.
Available to all students with a passion for English. The Academy’s general entry criteria of a minimum of five 4s at GCSE apply. A minimum of 5 in English Language and 5 in English Literature are needed to study English Literature at A Level.
To find out more about the A Level course, click here, to visit the AQA website.