A Level English Literature
Student outcomes and value-added in A-Level English Literature are consistently among the highest in the school. There are two courses: English Language & English Literature. It is possible to take both simultaneously.

The A-Level English Literature course builds emphatically on many of the skills and the subject knowledge which you have gained at GCSE. It will cover some new concepts, mainly critical and contextual in nature.

This course aims to develop your interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies and your understanding of your own and other cultures as you:

1. Read widely and independently both set texts and others that you have selected for yourself;
2. Engage creatively and with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them;
3. Develop and effectively apply your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in speech and writing;
4. Explore the contexts of the texts you are reading and others’ interpretations of them.

Why study this subject at A-Level?

As with English Language A-Level, anyone considering a career in law, journalism, marketing, advertising, the media, education or business would be likely to benefit from the course. It has always had a very high profile at University level and with employers who value the qualities of independent and advanced thought and expression that it develops.

English Literature combines well with History, Economics, Geography, French, German and with English Language. It can also provide a healthy balance of interests for those taking Sciences or Maths.

Wide reading and theatre visits are part of the course.

Summary of the course

A-Level English Literature course is divided into 3 components. In the first term you will work through a bridging unit compliant with the requirements of the OCR AS English Literature course.

Component 1: Drama and Poetry Pre-1900

In Component 1 you will have the opportunity to study a Shakespeare play, a Pre-1900 drama text and a Pre-1900 poetry text.

Shakespeare set text choices include: Hamlet (current choice), Coriolanus, Measure for Measure, Richard III, The Tempest, Twelfth Night.

Pre-1900 drama set text choices include: Webster – The Duchess of Malfi (current choice), Marlowe – Edward II, Goldsmith – She Stoops to Conquer, Ibsen – A Doll’s House, Wilde – An Ideal Husband.

Pre-1900 poetry set text choices include: Chaucer – The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale (current choice), Milton – Paradise Lost Books 9 & 10, Coleridge – Selected poems, Tennyson – Maud, Rossetti – Selected poems.

Component 2: Comparative and Contextual Study

In Component 2 you will have the opportunity to study a range of core set texts within a topic area. You will study two texts from that topic area. The Current topic area is ‘The Gothic’ and set text choice are Frankenstein and Dracula.

Component 3: Non-examined assessment Component – Literature Post -1900

In this component you will produce two coursework tasks. One is a critical or re-creative piece with a commentary based on one set text, the second is one essay based on two linked texts. The texts have to include a range of forms – prose, poetry and drama and to include one first published after 2000.

How is the qualification assessed?

Components 1 and 2 are assessed in a closed-text exam lasting 2 hours and 30 minutes and each Component is worth 40% of the total A-Level. Component 3 is a non- examined assessment and is worth 20% of the total A-Level.

English Language A Level

Entry Requirements

Applicants will require at least a Grade 6 in GCSE English Literature or Language.


OCR English Literature H472

Component 1 (40%)

2 hours 30 minutes

Component 2 (40%)

2 hours 30 minutes

Component 3 (20%)