English Literature

What will you be learning?

Among the many benefits, this course encourages students to:

  • Read widely and independently
  • Engage creatively with a substantial body of texts, exploring contexts and reading from different theoretical starting points
  • Develop literary analysis and evaluation and leading to a deeper understanding of the various traditions of literature in English


Entry requirements

GCSE English Literature and Language grade 5.


How is the course examined or assessed?

Two public examinations in year 13 and one non-examined assessed component (replaces what was previously known as coursework).

Paper 1: Drama and Poetry pre-1900: answering on William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ in Section 1 and comparing John Webster’s, ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ to Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale’ in Section 2.

Paper 2: Comparative and Contextual Study: from your study of ‘The Gothic’, writing a critical appreciation of an unseen passage before comparing your choice of two of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ and Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’.

Non-examined component:  a close reading task based on an extract and a ‘linked texts’ essay comparing two texts.


What happens when you have finished?

Employers and university admissions tutors view English Literature as an extremely important and valuable subject and although many of our students do read English at university, a significant number of our mathematicians and scientists also choose to study the subject in order to offer greater breadth and diversity.  Careers where English Literature is considered desirable include: Law, Journalism, Publishing, Human Resources and Teaching.