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A-Level

English Literature

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Why study English Literature?

Exam board and specification codes: English Literature OCR new specification H072 and H472

The specification has been chosen because it encourages critical awareness and close reading skills. It teaches and targets the core skills needed to confidently analyse poetry, drama and novel writing, enabling links with the wider historical and cultural contexts of writers and their work.

The skills developed on this course are transferable and highly regarded by universities and employers. Students learn how to carry out independent research, while acquiring accurate and effective writing skills. To enrich their studies, students are given opportunities to watch live performances and attend outside lectures.

How is it examined?

Component 01

Shakespeare; Drama and Poetry (Suggested texts)

  • Students answer one question on Shakespeare’s play Richard III, using their knowledge of critical theory to analyse and interpret
  • Students compare the poems of Christina Rossetti (Poetry pre-1900) with the play Henrik Ibsen’s The Doll’s House, using their wider knowledge of contexts to inform their interpretations

(Written paper; 2hrs 30mins; 60 marks; 40% of A-Level)

Component 02

Comparative and Contextual Study

  • Close reading of unseen American Literature taken from the period 1880-1940
  • Comparative study of The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

(Written paper; 2hrs 30mins; 60 marks; 40% of A-Level)

Component 03

Literature Post-1900

Students will write two tasks:

  • Close reading on Kate Tempest's The Brand New Ancients or Seamus Heaney's Beowulf
  • Comparative essay based on Angela Carter's Wise Children and Owen McCafferty's Antigone

These texts can change depending on the interest of different students.

The coursework component is 3,000 words in total (excluding quotations and critical references) and is worth:  total of 40 marks, 20% of A-Level.