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Mode of study Academic A Level
Duration 2 Years
Campus English Bridge Campus
Start date September 2021
Course code ELI-AL (2123)

  • Entry Requirements

    A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English Language and English Literature.

    Please note: You can study both English Literature and English Language but this would only be sensible if you intended to study English at university. You cannot study A Level English Language and Literature and A Level English Literature, or A Level English Language and Literature and A Level English Language.

  • What does the course involve?

    Studying English Literature involves studying arguably the world’s greatest literary heritage. You will study plays, poems and novels, and will explore a range of genres and time periods, from Shakespeare’s work in the 1500s-1600s to the present day. In this way you will gain an insight into both the history of writing in English and its continued vibrancy. If you enjoy reading literary texts, this course offers a great opportunity for you to broaden your horizons.

    You will be immersed in the seventeenth century world of Jacobean intrigue, obsessive desires and murder. But be warned, there is also the chance of being shipwrecked upon a remote island with a vengeful magician and three boisterous drunks for company. So that’s Webster and Shakespeare. And if that’s not enough excitement for you, we can assure you that some time will be spent visiting destinations rivalling the exhilarating experience of hell, in your investigation of modern and contemporary Dystopian or Gothic fiction by writers such as Cormac McCarthy, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Margaret Atwood and George Orwell.

    As with the other English courses, this A Level enables you to demonstrate your well-rounded, breadth of knowledge and essential communication skills and will open up a broad range of career opportunities - from law and teaching to journalism and politics. As the most traditional of the English A Level courses, English Literature is particularly prized by leading universities.

  • How is the course assessed?

    One unit will be assessed through coursework (20%) and the other by external examinations (80%); all at the end of the second year of A Level study.

  • Additional Notes

    English provides an excellent foundation for various Higher Education courses including law, medicine, English, linguistics and education. It can be combined with a range of other subjects at university. English offers increasing employability in a range of career areas, especially those that require developed communication skills. Students have gone on to careers in law, health and medicine, commerce and industry, marketing, politics and international relations, general management, as well as leading to more predictable areas like journalism, publishing, the media, education, theatre and public relations.

  • Further Information

    The student magazine produced by students is part of the enrichment opportunities led by the English Department. Trips include theatre trips to London, Manchester and Stratford-upon-Avon and international trips include a visit to battlefields in France, university taster days, residentials and creative writing workshops. These are all optional but highly recommended. Aspiring Oxford and Cambridge applicants will benefit from our extensive range of activities to support you in making a competitive application including: small group subject tuition, Oxford and Cambridge conferences, visits and contacts with our link staff, access to summer schools, application support and essay competitions, supra-curricular activities and access to free university level Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC).

  • What do I do next?

    You can apply online via the APPLY NOW button and then add an additional 2 or 3 subjects to make up your academic programme. You can also apply for a second, alternative programme of study on the application page. If after reading this factsheet, you are still undecided about the course most suitable for you, please drop in to one of our Open Evenings, ring Admissions on 01743 260401 or email:

Lily Williams

Lily Williams

A Level English Literature (History, Biology)
Previous Institution: Belvidere School

I loved English Literature at GCSE, so wanted to carry on studying it at A Level. It is really interesting finding out about different contexts and characters. We look at a wide variety of literature, but my favourite so far is Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. This subject has really improved my analysis and ability to make judgements, which will be vital for my future career.

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