English Literature | Selby College
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A Level, Level 3

English Literature

This A Level English Literature qualification builds on the knowledge and understanding developed at GCSE but introduces a broader kind of study - with more emphasis on personal responses and ideas, interpretation and discursive writing.

It is an ideal choice if you like reading and analysing novels, poetry and plays. English Literature embeds skills in structuring written work, self-evaluation, discussion and analysis, which support success across all A Level disciplines.

In the first year of the course, you will be supported to make the move from GCSE study to A Level. You will also study poetry, prose and drama under the broad topic ‘Aspects of Tragedy’. This includes a Shakespeare play, as well as a variety of reading from different time periods and perspectives. In the second year of the course, you will look at the impact of social and political protest writing, working with unseen texts as well as a range of texts from the 1800s to the 2000s.

You will also complete a piece of coursework where you complete two longer pieces of writing: the content of these is guided by your interests and a great opportunity to practise independent study skills which will benefit you in university or other further study.

In addition, you will research the social, historical and political context of texts, discuss critical opinions, and develop the ability to argue different viewpoints. The course is taught in a friendly and supportive environment and involves a mixture of class teaching, group work and research projects, with the prospect of enrichment activities such as theatre visits.

Many of our students progress on to study English Literature at university or other related Higher Education courses such as Teacher Training, Marketing, Public Relations or Law. If you are considering studying History at A Level with a possibility to go on to study History at university, it is also advisable to study English Literature. Many universities require English Literature as a facilitating subject for successful applications to study History or Drama. English Literature is also considered to be a useful A Level for university applications to study Law, Sociology or Psychology.

Potential Careers

  • Journalist
  • Teacher
  • Writer
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Digital Copywriter
  • Marketing Executive

5 GCSEs at Grade 9-4 including English Language and Maths


Grade 5 in English Literature

80% Exam, 20% Coursework

Where can it lead?