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A-level English Literature

The course covers a variety and range of modern and historical prose, poetry and drama texts.

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Exam Board: Edexcel 9ET0

English Literature

At Bosworth, English Literature involves the consideration and exploration of many areas of student interest and experience: love, loneliness, prejudice, bravery and perseverance to name but a few. The course covers a variety and range of modern and historical prose, poetry and drama texts. Students will develop the key skills of critical thinking, close analysis and structuring responses.

Students have usually studied English Literature at GCSE and achieved a grade 5/6 or above.

Students need to be open-minded and willing to listen to and discuss the opinions of their peers. In addition, a willingness to ‘read around’ texts is essential.

At A-level, students will be introduced to a wealth of cultural, social, historical and moral contexts in their study of texts. They will explore the power of communicating stories through various genres for different purposes and also appreciate the importance of the writer’s craft and the reader’s interpretation. The sympathetic analysis of contemporary issues is significant in understanding human nature and therefore is an integral part of literary study.

Course Content

1. Two drama texts from the comedy genre, which will be externally assessed (Paper 1 is 2 hours and 15 minutes):
William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. The students will also study critical essays related to their chosen Shakespeare play.

2. Two prose texts of the Supernatural genre, also assessed externally (Paper 2 is 1 hour and 15 minutes):
Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

3. Two poetry texts, once again, externally assessed (Paper 3 is 2 hours and 15 minutes): Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002–2011 and Selected Poems: John Keats, editor John Barnard (Penguin Classics, 2007).

4. For the non-examined part of the course, students choose two texts to study on a similar theme, time, movement, or by the same author and write an extended comparative analysis on the texts.

Where Does it Lead?

English Literature combines well with Modern Foreign Languages, Psychology, Sociology, History, Politics, Economics and Business Studies. It can lead to a degree in Law, Politics, Psychology or almost any other area, and is even popular as a fourth choice for those studying Medicine, providing vital evidence of an ability to empathise.

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