English literature

English literature

The study of English Literature allows students to explore the human condition and understand the issues, dilemmas and questions that past societies have faced and we continue to face in the present day. The skills developed in English Literature are highly transferable and well respected by universities and employers alike, ensuring that students are equipped with the tools they need to progress into higher education, regardless of their chosen area of study.

The varied range of diverse and interesting texts studied provides each student with the opportunity to explore something they enjoy and the Independent Critical Study will help to prepare students for the type of work that will be expected of them should they wish to progress to a university. 

The varied range of diverse and interesting texts studied over the course provides each student with the opportunity to explore a wide range of genres and themes, and the Independent Critical Study helps to prepare students for the way of working that will be expected of them should they wish to progress to a university.

Why study English Literature?

A Level English Literature is an exciting and dynamic course that develops the skills of analysis, understanding, insight and critical thinking. The course involves reading and exploring a wide variety of texts and students study texts both singly and comparatively. This course will be particularly beneficial to those wishing to pursue careers that require analytical and communication skills.


A level English Literature

Awarding body


Entry requirements

Pass in English and maths, 5 or more grades at 5+ (this can include English and maths), grade 6 or higher in English Literature.

Year 12

Students studying English Literature in Year 12 will focus on the topic of ‘Love through the Ages’ which enables them to form articulate, personal, creative and informed responses to literary texts. Students will explore the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received, as well as learning to analyse the methods writers use to create meaning, and explore textual connections and interpretations of the following texts:

  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Anthology of Love Poetry through the Ages (pre-1900)
  • Unseen Love Poetry from early modern English to the poetry of the 21st century
  • Independent Critical Study (where they will be able to independently select a task according to their personal interests)

Year 13

In Year 13, students will continue to develop the skills they have gained in Year 12, focusing on texts that are written in the shared context of WWI and its Aftermath, including:

  • Regeneration by Pat Barker
  • My Boy Jack by David Haig
  • Up the Line to Death, a war poetry anthology edited by Brian Gardner
  • Unseen Prose
  • Revision of all texts across the course


Students will be assessed over two externally assessed examination papers taken at the end of the course as well as an Independent Critical Study which forms the non-examined assessment.


Literature allows you to explore the many different ways you can interpret meaning and to understand how writers communicate their message. Developing your understanding of a text from first reading to truly analysing the meaning behind the writers’ words is fascinating.
Year 12 student