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English Literature A Level - Level 3


Studying A Level English Literature will encourage you to develop your interest and enjoyment of the written word. You will gain an understanding of the traditions of literature, make informed opinions and judgements on literary texts and develop your knowledge of cultural and historical influences on text. By reading widely, and critically, across centuries, gender and genre, you will develop as an independent reader and critic.

You will be taught to critically analyse a text according to its historical and cultural period and, as well as enjoying great works, you’ll develop keen powers of analysis and an understanding of literature in all its forms.

Key objectives

  • Build on the skills and knowledge you have already gained at GCSE.
  • Critically read, analyse and enjoy a wide variety of different texts.
  • Develop your written communication skills to a high level.

What does it combine with?

Start dates and fees

Start DateCodeActions
September 20244443Apply online

What will I study?

The texts covered include:

  • ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams
  • ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett
  • ‘New Selected Poems’ by Seamus Heaney
  • ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ by William Shakespeare
  • ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin
  • A post-1900 poetry collection

You will also analyse unseen texts of different genres. In the coursework option you will be able to study a choice of texts.

Entry requirements

You will need 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including:

  • English Language (Grade 4)
  • English Literature (Grade 4)
  • Plus, two other GCSEs at grade 4.

If you have only studied language not literature, you will need to discuss this with the subject teacher.

Study programmes - essential skills for employment

If you're a student between the ages of 16 and 18 (or 19 to 25 with an EHC Plan) we want to make sure you have the best possible chances of landing an awesome job once you finish college.

Students who haven't achieved a grade 4/C in GCSE maths or English to continue studying these subjects while you're here with us. By doing so, you'll be building a strong foundation of skills that will significantly boost your employability in the future.

Think of it as a chance to supercharge your knowledge and abilities. You'll be equipped with the tools necessary to tackle the world beyond college with confidence. Plus, we'll be right here to support you every step of the way.

In addition, to help you gain essential skills for employment, all students aged 19 and under and studying a full-time course with us will take part in our study programmes.

How long is the course?

2 years.

How will I be assessed?

This course is assessed primarily by two examinations scheduled for May/June at the end of the second year with some additional coursework assessment.

The variety of assessment styles used such as passage-based questions, unseen material, single text questions and open book approaches, allow students to develop a wide range of skills. These skills include the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research which are valuable for both further study and future employment.

The majority of questions are open book, which means you can have a copy of the texts in the exam!

There are only 2 exams and a coursework element worth 20%. This coursework provides opportunities for students to pursue their own areas of interest and develop personal and independent learning skills.

What does the course lead to?

Careers are often pursued as a teacher, marketing professional, public relations officer, librarian, author, translator, solicitor and more.

What can I progress onto?

Further study at university-level* in the subject or creative writing, history, politics, media and communications.

*As we are a partner college of Nottingham Trent University (NTU), you may qualify for various benefits should you choose to apply to NTU after completing your college course. This could include a Progress NTU offer, where you would receive an offer one grade below their standard offer. For instance, a typical offer for one of their courses might require 128 UCAS tariff points. With Progress NTU, your requirements would be 120 UCAS tariff points. For further details, please call us on 0808 100 3626 or discover more about this benefit here.

Career opportunities

How do I apply?

You don’t need to apply for each A Level course you are interested in individually.

Once we have received your application form we will invite you into college where we will be able to discuss every aspect of the courses you have chosen as well as any alternatives you may be considering.

You will also have the opportunity to visit the areas of the college used for your course choices.

Apply online

Next steps

Attend an open event

View our upcoming events

Call our general enquiries team

0808 100 3626
Getting to college Financial support How to apply Course guides

Why choose West Notts?

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96.2% A Level pass rate in 2022.

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction.**Learner Exit Survey 2019/20

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We offer a flexible and cost-effective travel pass to all students and apprentices.

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We have four campuses each boasting a number of state-of-the-art facilities.

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