English Literature

English Literature explores 鈥榓rt鈥 texts such as poems, plays and novels. It is a highly-regarded course that is ideal for those who enjoy reading and discussion. The course will introduce you to a range of work that will broaden your knowledge of the world, improve your verbal and written communication skills and develop your ability to analyse and evaluate.

English Literature students study a range of poetry, prose and drama from different time periods. During the course you will explore how writers develop characters and themes, and you will study three texts of different genres including at least one Shakespeare play and some poems written before 1800.

Written exams make up 80% of your marks with the remaining assessed from your coursework.

The department organises regular theatre trips, including an annual visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, and trips to relevant study days on set texts. Last year, year 12 and 13 students visited Moniack Mhor, Scotland’s national creative writing centre. The department also supports and encourages students to take part in creative writing competitions.

English Literature is an interesting and highly valued course that will open up a wide range of possibilities for the future. Former English Literature students have gone on to study a very wide range of subjects at university. In addition to English and related subjects, our students have read for degrees in such subjects as Anthropology and Archaeology, Law, Criminology, Modern Languages, Psychology, Theatre, Film and Television.

Aspects of Tragedy – Exam Paper – 40% of marks

Elements of Social and Political Protest Writing – Exam Paper – 40% of marks

Two pieces of writing – Coursework – 20% of marks


The A level course is a thought-provoking exploration of a minimum of eight texts which range across the genres and history of English Literature. Alongside regular discussions on how meanings are generated within texts, students will also develop the analytical writing skills required at this level.

Aspects of Tragedy
Paper 1 requires students to analyse how aspects of the tragic genre are presented in a variety of texts:
鈥 Othello 鈥 William Shakespeare
鈥 Death of a Salesman 鈥 Arthur Miller
鈥 Selection of Keats鈥 Poetry

Elements of Social and Political Protest Writing
Paper 2 requires students to explore their texts through the lens of political and social protest writing:
鈥 The Kite Runner 鈥 Khaled Hosseini
鈥 A Doll鈥檚 House 鈥 Henrik Ibsen
鈥 Songs of Innocence and Experience 鈥 William Blake

Coursework assessment

The non-examined assessment allows students to explore one prose text and one poetry text of their own choosing, making use of a range of critical perspectives.

Students are encouraged to read as much as possible. Those joining us in September should look at a selection from the set texts. The Kite Runner makes an excellent summer read.

Study Level

A Level

Exam Board


Contact Details

Mr T England

Head of Department