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English Literature


What are the advantages of having an English A Level?

  • English A-Level is a facilitating subject, highly respected by the Russell Group universities.
  • Students develop the ability to think creatively, a crucial skill in today’s changing world.
  • It encourages the skills of problem solving, analysis and reasoning.
  • Students learn collaboration as well as developing better written and oral communication skills.
  • The course develops independence through secondary reading and research.

Course Content

At Kent College, we follow Edexcel syllabus for A-Level English Literature.  We chose Edexcel because it is a robust and engaging syllabus which allows candidates to read a wide variety of texts across the literary genres. The coursework component is an added advantage which encourages independent learning skills  and a deeper appreciation of English Literature. The syllabus is made up of four components:

Paper 1: Drama (30% of total marks)

In this paper, candidates are required to write two essays, one on a Shakespeare play and one on another play.  There is no element of comparison.  In addition, they are required to refer to an anthology of critical material compiled by the examination board which includes essays on the set Shakespeare play.

Paper 2: Prose (20% of total marks)

In this paper, candidates are required to write one comparative essay on two novels.  One novel must be taken from the pre-19th century selection.

Paper 3: Poetry (30% of total marks)

In this paper, candidates are required to compare an unseen poem with one of a selection of poems they will have studied in class. The second question on the paper requires them to write an essay on the poet/poetic movement they have studied during the two-year course.

Paper 4: Coursework (20% of total marks)

Coursework allows for candidates to work independently.  Candidates are required to write about two texts. We teach one of the texts in school but the second is their choice.

Career Opportunities

An A-Level in English Literature is highly respected by employers and universities. Almost all careers require employees to be able to analyse situations perceptively as well as express themselves in writing concisely and clearly. Careers which are directly related to the study of English include: journalism, teaching, writing, editing and publishing. Careers for which the skills taught in an A-Level in English Literature course would be advantageous are: law, public service, financial services, public relations and marketing.

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