St John Plessington Catholic College


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A Level - Level 3

This subject is offered as an A Level course over two years.

On this course you will study some fantastic plays, novels and poetry, ranging in period. You must be willing to undertake independent reading, which should not really feel like a chore, more a pleasure. A qualification in English Literature proves that you are highly motivated, analytical and confident in your ability to construct and convey an argument in both spoken and written form.

Assessment Objectives

  • AO1 - Articulate informed, personal and creative

    responses to literary texts, using associated concepts and terminology and coherent, accurate written expression.

  • AO2 - Analyse ways in which meanings are shaped in literary texts.

  • AO3 - Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received.

  • AO4 - Explore connections across literary texts.

  • AO5 - Explore literary texts informed by different interpretations.

    This course has no AS component – it is a two year programme of study culminating in three A Level examinations and the submission of a coursework portfolio.

    A Level

    Examination 80% Non-exam assessment 20%.
    The components comprise a study of prose, poetry and drama including Shakespeare from a range of periods. Students are encouraged to study texts using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives and debate and challenge the perspectives of other readers as they develop their own informed personal response to texts. The exam will assess the ability to explore central literary themes and also respond to unseen material.

    The non-exam assessment offers the opportunity to independently study and research two prose texts. Students will develop the skills needed to produce a coherent and convincing argument and use literary terminology with confidence.

Is there anything else I should know?

The skills that you will learn in this subject, such as independent research, close reading, analysis and evaluation of material and assimilation of material into a formal essay are highly desirable skills for universities. English Literature therefore is an ideal companion to History, Spanish/French, Psychology, Religious Studies or any of the Science subjects.

Progression Routes

English Literature is highly regarded and considered a ‘facilitating subject’ for the top universities in the country, regardless of the degree that you wish to study. It provides an excellent grounding for those wishing to progress onto Law and other traditionally ‘humanities’ subjects but also for Medicine and Veterinary Science as well as Business or Management.