English Literature

Course Description

If you are interested in the techniques employed by authors to create characters and situations and how texts reflect our lives and relationships, then this course is for you. You will read, study and enjoy modern novels and plays, some Victorian texts, some Shakespeare and review a wide range of writing. Additionally, we will discuss texts in performance, how they work on stage and screen and not least in imagination.

Entry Requirements

Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 5/4, including English Language and Mathematics at grade 5/4 or above. Or eight GCSEs at a minimum of grade 5.

Features of the Course

The texts covered include various themes and theoretical perspectives such as: dramatic tragedy, social and political protest writing, feminism and Marxism. Texts covered comprise of: Othello, The Great Gatsby, Richard II, The Kite Runner, William Blake poems, A Doll’s House.


There are two exams, one for each module.
Paper 1: Aspects of Tragedy three questions in response to two plays and a prose (40%)
Paper 2: Elements of Political and Social Protest writing three questions in response to a play, prose and an unseen passage (40%)
Non-exam assessment (20%)

You will also produce two essays, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the critical anthology.

Exam Board: AQA

Enrichment and Work Experience

There is an expectation to complete a one-week work placement in the Summer term. There are opportunities for you to attend theatre trips, journalism workshops and university trips as well as day placements at local schools.

Additional Information

Books will be provided by the department, although some coursework texts may be purchased by students.

Links With Other Subjects

This course links well with English Language, History, Media Studies, Film Studies, and Drama & Theatre Studies.

Future Career Opportunities

Both universities and employers value and respect an A Level in English Literature. Former students have progressed to humanities courses at university and careers in journalism, law, teaching and lecturing. A high level command of English is a required skill in many career pathways.

Why study at The Sixth Form Bolton?

The Department of English & Modern Foreign Languages is well-resourced, has highly qualified teachers who are also examiners, and achieves excellent results.
You can expect:
• Interesting and thought-provoking topics
• Expert teaching and assessment
• Lively classroom discussion
• Friendly guidance
• Optional extra lessons
• Theatre, cinema and TV studio trips
• An enjoyable atmosphere
• High progression rates to university