English Literature

Awarding body:  Edexcel

English Literature Advanced Subsidiary       AS (8ET0)

English Literature Advanced GCE                  A level (9ET0)

Course content and examination requirements:

These courses aim to develop students’ interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies as they read widely and independently both the set texts and others that they have selected for themselves. Students develop and apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation, and explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others’ interpretations of them.

By A level, students should be able to show knowledge and understanding of the functions and effects of writers’ use of language, form and structure in texts; the interpretation of texts by different readers over time; how texts relate to literary traditions, movements and genres; and the cultural and contextual influences affecting readers and writers. The A level course allows students to undertake independent study in order to deepen their understanding of English literature and its changing traditions.

The English Department aims to incorporate a range of methods into teaching and learning including group work, presentations, film, lectures, theatre or other visits as appropriate, the use of IT, as well as individual reading, research and writing. In addition to lessons, students will be expected to complete about six hours of independent study a week.

Important Note:

The new AS and A Level courses have been designed to be co-teachable, so students studying together can decide to study for the AS only in Year 12, and/or for the full A level over two years.  Students will sit exams at the end of Year 12 for the AS award, and then sit a new set of exams at the end of Year 13 for the A level.

Year 12 - AS Units

Unit 1:

Poetry and Drama (8ET0/01)

This comprises 60% of the total AS marks and is examined by means of a 2 hour written examination which is divided into two sections:

Section A: Poetry essay response (from a prescribed anthology)

Section B: Drama essay response (on the studied drama text)

Unit 2:

Prose (8ET0/02)

This comprises 40% of the total AS marks and is examined by means of a Prose essay response (comparing the two studied prose texts on the prescribed theme).

Year 13 – A level Units

Unit 1:

Drama (9ET0/01)

This comprises 30% of the total A level marks and is examined by means of a 2 hour and fifteen minutes written examination which is divided into two sections:

Section A: Shakespeare essay response, including wider critical reading

Section B: Drama essay response (on the studied text—tragedy or comedy

Unit 2:

Prose (9ET0/02)

This comprises 20% of the total AS marks and is examined by means of a one hour long Prose essay response (comparing the two studied prose texts on the prescribed theme).

Unit 3:

Poetry (9ET0/03)

This comprises 30% of the total A level marks and is examined by means of a 2 hour and fifteen minutes written examination which is divided into two sections:

Section A: Post-2000 poetry comparative essay response (unseen poem compared to a named poem from the prescribed anthology)

Section B: Pre or post-1900 poetry essay response (on the studied poet or movement)

Unit 4:

Coursework (9ET0/04)

This comprises 20% of the total A level marks and is examined by means of an essay of between 2500 and 3000 words.  Students have a free choice of texts to study, from any genre.  The essay must compare by referring to two texts.

Entry requirements:

GCSE English and GCSE English Literature – grade A minimum.

Students should have a genuine interest in reading and literature, whilst also having the motivation to engage in independent study.

Relevance to further studies and careers:

English Literature is universally recognised as a valuable and versatile A level by institutions and employers because of the transferable skills it develops. As an AS subject, it can be a good choice to enhance three Mathematics and Science subjects for candidates seeking to broaden their studies in preparation for careers in, for instance, Medicine.

Traditionally, it can be combined with many other subjects, especially the Humanities and  Modern Foreign Languages as an A level subject and is often recommended for those wishing to take up a legal career. 

Teaching staff / further information:

Ms R Pietrzyk

Mr R Davies