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English Literature (A Level)

Course outline

AS English – Tragedy: ‘Othello’, ‘Death of a Salesman’, ‘The Great Gatsby’ and Poetry.

A Level English – Elements of Crime Writing or Elements of Political or Social Protest Writing. Independent Reading and Writing: coursework.

What type of student succeeds at English A Level?

English is a demanding A Level. It requires a challenging transition from GCSE to A Level studies.

A love of books is essential and a sense of enjoyment from analysing texts.

Subject requirements at GCSE

A grade 6 in both GCSE English Language and English Literature are required in order to study English at A Level.

Complementary subjects

English is well paired with History, Geography, Sociology and Psychology.


Students receive homework every lesson. English is best learned through extensive reading and students get plenty of opportunity to do so. It is important for students to read other texts beyond those set for the exams. Students will also practise exam questions regularly for each set text.


Future Directions

Which university courses require English Literature A Level?

English degrees and related degrees such as Linguistics often require English Literature.

Which university courses look favourably on English A Level?

Any essay based subject will look favourably on English A Level as it is proof that you can read complex texts and write well. Degrees might include History, Sociology, Philosophy or International Relations.

What are the entry requirements to study English at university?

English requires anywhere between A*AA and BCC.

Which careers could English A Level lead to?

Traditional paths might include Journalism, working in Government, Public Relations, Advertising or Teaching. Increasing numbers are doing Law Conversion courses to become lawyers, where their literacy skills are highly valued.