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A Level English Literature

A Level English Literature

English Literature: read critically, write analytically, talk coherently, think differently!

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Why should I study English Literature?

A Level English Literature is a two-year course which will give you the opportunity to study a range of texts, including by our beloved Bard – William Shakespeare – and a diverse range of novels, poetry and drama.

Do you enjoy reading widely and regularly for pleasure?

Do you enjoy a good debate?

Are you interested in investigating the human experience, asking questions such as why we think and behave the way that we do, and what influences our beliefs and values?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then you will find this subject extremely rewarding, both on a personal, and academic level.

Through lively and engaging lessons, you will be stretched and challenged to fulfil your potential by highly experienced, genuinely passionate, subject specialists. Trips to the theatre are a must; we take every opportunity to see literature being brought to life on the big stage.

As well as enjoying a wide range of engaging and stimulating texts, you will develop your ability to express informed and considered opinions, hone your independent learning and research skills and develop a critical, enquiring mind: skills which are highly regarded by employers and universities alike.

Make no mistake, English Literature is a course which will challenge you! In return, we guarantee high levels of enjoyment and that you will leave us with a deeper appreciation of our literary heritage.

What will I study?

In both years, you will study a range of texts through the lens of a specific genre:

  • In Year 12, we will focus on Tragedy
  • In Year 13, we will focus on Social and Political Protest Writing


In total, you will study eight texts comprising of a range of prose, poetry and drama, representing classics and works by modern writers.

A current favourite is ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margret Atwood; you may have seen the dramatisation which was recently shown on TV.

You will also get the opportunity to choose your own texts for the coursework element of the course, exploring critical theories such as feminism and Marxism.

How is A Level English assessed?

A-Level English Literature is assessed via two exams at the end of Year 13 (80% of your final grade), and a piece of coursework (20% of your final grade).

What can I study with English literature?

As well as being a fantastic area of study in its own right, A Level English Literature is a brilliant ‘mixer’; it compliments many other subjects. The versatility of the subject allows you to study alongside film studies, as well as other humanities and social science subjects. It works equally well with sports or health and social care, as well as art, business and IT. It is a subject that has and continues to attract a wide range of students with a wide range of interests.

Where does a qualification in English literature lead?

Due to the versatility of the course, English Literature enables students to progress onto a broad range of university courses, ranging from the traditional to the more contemporary. Universities and employers value the higher order thinking skills and creativity which this course affords, alongside the ability to present complex and critical ideas, precisely and succinctly. An English Literature degree serves as an excellent foundation for entry into a wide variety of careers, such as law, psychology, teaching, journalism, marketing and publishing.

Subject specific entry requirement:

Grades 6 in English language

DACA English Literature Alumni:

English Literature has long since been a popular choice with students, including Khushna, DACA’s first ever student to progress onto Cambridge University! With the help of her A Level grade in English Literature, Khushna was accepted to study Fine Art; she recently had pieces of her artwork proudly displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in London.