English Literature A-Level

During the two years of the course, you will read widely and independently both set texts and others that you have selected for yourself. You will develop and apply your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in writing and explore the contexts of the work you are reading, considering the interpretations of others and possible ways of responding to them.

Set texts will consist of both classics and modern works of literature, including prose, poetry and drama. In the second year, you will complete coursework based on post-1900 texts, developing independent skills of reading and research.




Level 3

Course Type

16 +


A Level


Options Course Code Starts Ends
apply 03118y1 09/09/24 19/06/26

What will I study?

You will be assessed by two exams at the end of the second year, both two hours thirty in duration. One exam will be drama and poetry pre-1900 worth 40%, and the second paper will be comparative and contextual studies worth 40%. The remaining 20% is made up from the coursework element on literature post-1900.

What previous qualifications or experience do I need?

A GCSE grade 5 in English Language.

How will I be assessed?

GCE A Level in English Literature (OCR)

What qualification will I achieve?

A-Level English Literature is highly prized by many universities as it demonstrates advanced skills in critical reading and discursive essay writing. It provides an excellent basis for a variety of university courses, including humanities, languages and law. It is valued by employers as evidence of excellent communication skills.

What can I do after completing this course?

You will need to purchase copies of all set texts studied and some extra texts for your independent study. The approximate cost over two years is likely to be between £50 and £75. A full book list will be supplied on your Get to Know Day.

Are there any extra costs?

We regularly organise trips to the theatre and other places of interest, for example, The Young Vic in London, outdoor Shakespeare productions in Brighton, and Strawberry Hill in Twickenham - home of Sir Horace Walpole, who wrote the first English Gothic novel.

We hold events for National Poetry Day and an annual Creative Writing competition with workshops sponsored by the Asham Literary Trust. We have links to BBC Radio 4 Book Club and have taken groups of students to take part in broadcasts. We also have links with the Charleston Trust's Literary Festivals.