TOP COURSE HIGHLIGHTS
Variety of texts
Focus on context
Variety of texts
We ensure that the course offers you the opportunity to study texts from a range of genres, from the traditional works of Shakespeare to more modern texts; these will challenge the way you view literature and the world around you.
We encourage all students to read widely beyond the course and we aim to foster independence. We want you to leave the course with both an enhanced understanding of literature and a love of reading.
Focus on context
You will be encouraged to explore texts in their socio-historical and political contexts; from Renaissance attitudes to magic to the recent political upheavals of the 20th and 21st centuries, you will learn to appreciate Margaret Atwood’s statement that ‘context is all’.
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
Drama and Poetry pre-1900 (examined unit – 2 hr 30) 40%
Section A: exploration of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’
Section B: comparative study of poetry and drama: ‘Selected Poems’, Coleridge, or Christina Rossetti or Milton Paradise Lost
Comparative and Contextual Study (examined unit – 2 hr 30) 40%
Section A: analysis of an unseen Gothic extract
Section B: comparative study of ‘The Bloody Chamber’, ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’
Content of Literature post 1900 (coursework) 20%
Assignment A: close reading of an extract from Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ (1000 words)
Assignment B: comparative essay on two texts, one novel and one work of poetry (2000 words)
WHERE WILL IT TAKE ME?
English graduates go on to work in many sectors including the civil service and academia, teaching, publishing, journalism, media and communications, marketing, arts, law, and heritage. A qualification in English Literature is highly valued by universities and employers as it develops your critical thinking and writing skills.
Formal assessment for the A Level is at the end of two years. There are two exams, one for each unit, each worth 40% of your overall grade. Coursework is worth 20%. There will be regular assessments throughout the course and more formal end of Year One internal assessments to track your progress.
Your achievement in this subject is dependent upon excellent attendance and effort. You will learn in a friendly and safe atmosphere, using a variety of assessment methods:
- You will be assessed on written essay work which will be completed either as homework or under timed conditions in class and you will be given constructive feedback on your progress.
- Class discussions are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be encouraged to contribute.
- You will review your own performance in 1:1 session with your lecturer.
- You will undertake mock exams on each unit in advance of your final exams.
- You will be formally examined on each unit that you study at the end of the second year.
- Coursework in the second year is compulsory.
For all A levels a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above in appropriate subjects, to include English Language or Literature and/or Maths at grade 5 or above is required.
To study English at a higher level a minimum of grade 6 or above in English Literature and a minimum of grade 5 or above in English Language. You must also enjoy reading. An interest in analysis and studying texts in their historical context is essential. You also need to be highly motivated and capable of carrying out independent research and wider reading.
INFORMATION & SUPPORT
To prepare for this course you should read the core text, Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber. You may also want to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
For wider reading in the gothic genre we suggest one of the following: Dracula by Bram Stoker or Oscar Wide’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.
We encourage all students to read widely beyond the course and we aim to foster independence. We will provide suggested reading lists. If you are interested in studying English Literature at university, you will also be introduced to a wide range of texts and literary movements which go beyond the A Level curriculum, in order to prepare you for first year at university.
Awarding Body: OCR
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