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English Literature – A Level


Level 3



Type of study

School Leavers




2 Years

English Literature is a fantastically engaging and diverse subject which allows you to follow your own interests, explore the classics and develop your analytical skills. We study texts from the Medieval period right up to the modern day with a focus on putting texts into context.

As part of the course, we study prose fiction, poetry and drama which extends out of and develops the critical skills that you will have developed and honed at GCSE.

We have a flourishing Study+ offer at Andover. For enrichment you could join the creative writing society which has great links with local authors and universities. You could take part in our termly English competitions, from writing creatively to exploring the ways in which accent and dialect impact on how others see us. Or you could join the debating society! We also have regular speakers from university, and take groups on trips to the theatre and academic conferences.

5 GCSEs at 4-9 to include English Literature.


Poetry and Drama – this component is all about classic literature. We start with Shakespeare in year one and build upon your knowledge from GCSE. At A-Level we explore comedy as a genre through the effervescent play, ‘Twelfth Night’, which is a joyful exploration of gender and personal identity. Following on from this, in year two we study Chaucer’s ‘The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale’, a fascinating story of love and betrayal told by a master storyteller. This text is paired with Oliver Goldsmith’s wonderfully witty eighteenth-century comedy, ‘She Stoops to Conquer’. Comparing these two texts is really exciting and interesting depth study of genre and character.

Comparative and Contextual Study – this component focuses upon dystopia. There are two key elements that we focus upon, developing a critical appreciation for the genre through unseen analysis and wider reading and a depth study of two seminal novels. We really value wider reading as a key aspect of the course and students are encouraged to engage with this throughout their studies. Our comparison texts are George Orwell’s post-war dark tale of oppression and surveillance, ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ and PD James surprisingly dystopian novel of the 1990s, ‘The Children of Men’.

NEA – students are able to follow their own interests and passions with a free choice of topic for the NEA. All texts studied must be post-1900 and one post-2000 which really encourages engagement and enthusiasm for this component of the course.


Debate, discussion and analysis are at the forefront of the skills that students of English Literature require. Students are given set reading for the prose topics and also encouraged to find their own interests within the genre. These will be shared through presentation and group work. Homework is set regularly and the expectation is that students will engage with this as part of their overall study programme.


80% of the mark will be assessed through final exams.

20% of the mark will be assessed through internal coursework.


An A-Level in English Literature is an extremely useful investment. Not only is it very well regarded by admissions tutors at universities, but employers value candidates who possess the skills of communication, analysis and team-work which are developed through study of this subject.

Students who complete their course go on to many diverse degree courses and industries. For example, vocational qualifications in journalism, marketing, publishing and teaching, through to degrees in English, Creative Writing, Media, Communication and Film.

We use a wide range of digital resources to compliment in-class learning. Students can access e-copies of the wider reading texts through the library and revision and teaching resources are shared through the college intranet systems.

Students are required to purchase a physical copy of their set texts to read and study throughout the course. This is approximately £70.


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