Find a Course or browse all courses

Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: EDUQAS

Why study A Level English Literature?


As a prospective student of A-Level English Literature student you should already enjoy reading and analysing texts. On this course you will develop a heightened awareness of the power of language as you begin to cultivate a considerable vocabulary, a developed understanding of style, advanced critical thinking abilities, and the skills to read and write complex, original work. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to develop a critical awareness and understanding of individual works of literature. You will develop your interest in, and enjoyment of, literature and literary studies as you read widely and independently. You will engage creatively with a substantial body of texts and you will develop and effectively apply your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in your own written responses. You will explore literature from a range of genres and contexts, gaining valuable insights into different historical periods and cultures. 


What can it lead to?

Studying English prepares you for a diverse range of professional fields. From the study of English Literature you’ll develop comprehensive written and spoken communication skills, becoming adept at arguing a point, framing a narrative and analysing various levels of meaning. These skills are important in degrees or fields of employment where strong communication and written English are valued, for example: 

  • Journalism and media occupations like news reporting, magazine journalism, television 

  • Creative writing for a variety of audiences, including viewers as well as readers 

  • Publishing, in either print-based or digital forms 

  • Arts management and promotion 

  • Advertising, marketing and PR 

  • Careers in Law such as solicitor, barrister, paralegal or legal secretary 

  • A teaching career at any level, from Primary school to Higher Education 

  • Civil service posts 


How is the course organised?

Awarding Body: Eduqas 

Component 1 – Poetry  (Examination – 30% of total A-level) 

  • Christina Rossetti 

  • Larkin and Duffy 

Component 2 – Drama  (Examination – 30% of total A-level) 

  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare 

  • The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster 

  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams 


Component 3 – Unseen Texts  (Examination 20% of total A-level) 

  • One piece of prose 

  • One poem 


Component 4 – Prose Study (NEA 20% of total A-Level)  

One assignment based on two texts: to be completed as coursework. 

How is the course assessed?

Components 1, 2 and 3 will be assessed by written examinations taken at the end of the second year. Component 4 is known as ‘coursework’ and is internally assessed and consists of one coursework task based on two texts. 

In order to prepare for these assessments, your knowledge, understanding and skills will be tested at regular intervals during the year. 

You will initially be asked to write short pieces in response to the texts, and through the year you will build up to writing longer and more sustained essays. You will be given regular practice at writing in timed conditions. 

You will be required to sit mock exams at designated points across the two years. 

You will receive clear and detailed feedback on how to improve your work, and you will be guided on how to record and use this feedback effectively. All our students are expected to aim for high grades, and this assessment and guidance will help you do your very best. 

What do I need to qualify for this course?

The General entry requirements for A Level courses are six GCSEs grades 9-4, including a Grade 6 and above in English Language and in this subject. 

This course requires an immense amount of reading. Therefore applicants must have a real love of reading literature to be successful on this course. 

Applicants must be prepared to work autonomously, write copiously and research independently. They should be self-motivated and genuinely interested in the subject. A Level English is not an easy option at A Level and students must be aware of this. However, if you are prepared to work hard and engage you will be successful. 

Note: the suggested weekly homework/independent study for an A level course in English Literature is a minimum of 10 hours on top of lessons 

Who are the teachers?

Your teachers on A Level English Language & Literature will be:

Ms Redmond (MRE)

Ms Morgillo (CMO)

Ms Chilton (ACI)

Mr Eakin (WEA)

Mr Cribben (BCR)

All your teachers have relevant higher education qualifications.

What do students say about the course?

“The teachers really get you to think for yourself. They help you and support you so much, but they push you too – in a good way.”

“What I read on the course has changed the way I see the world. There is so much more in those books than I thought. I learned about times, places and ideas I never knew existed!”

“I found my love for English Literature at St Charles.”

Whar Else Should I Know About?

Above all, the course encourages students to become critical, independent readers of literature who can work effectively on their own as well as in a classroom environment. There are a huge variety of resources to help you with this on our regularly updated Moodle site. We also offer a range of extra-curricular activities, such as theatre trips, external workshops, university visits and revision conferences to enhance learning and understanding.