English Literature

Reasons to study this course

  • You will have the opportunity to discuss your own views on literary and non-literary texts as well as listen to those of others.
  • You will develop your knowledge of literary and non-literary texts from different genres and periods.
  • You will improve your understanding of the social and historical contexts in which texts are produced.
  • You will develop a wide variety of skills that are highly regarded by both employers and universities including the ability to express yourself clearly and coherently in writing.

What you will need to study this course

  • minimum GCSE grade 4 in both English Language and English Literature
  • willingness to read new and challenging texts, learn new terminology and analyse writers’ techniques
  • willingness to work and read independently
  • ability to write essays and express your ideas clearly and logically
  • willingness to take part in discussion and formal presentations

What you will study

‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘The Whitsun Weddings’, ‘All My Sons’ as well as screenplays, letters, diaries, travel writing and journalism from an anthology. The social and historical contexts of texts. Writing creative literary and non-literary pieces inspired by reading novels such as ‘Escape from Camp 14’, ‘The Road’, ‘1984’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.

How you will be assessed

Year 1 (AS) – exam

Year 2 (A-Level) – 20% coursework, 80% exam

Priestley Extra

Opportunities to attend theatre performances, conferences and residentials. You can also join the Creative Writing group and college magazine. We are looking to introduce the NCTJ Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism, which could complement your studies in Year 2.


Prepares you for careers such as publishing, public relations, marketing, journalism, media, management, the legal profession, teaching and many others. Highly regarded by all leading universities.

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