English Literature
A Level

Awarding Body: Pearson

Course Description

Encompassing a broad range of texts and ideas, English Literature provides a unique opportunity to hone your skills of analysis and argument, alongside challenging you to question your own ideas and those of others. English Literature is a traditional, academic A level and is highly regarded by leading universities.

Minimum of grade 5 in GCSE English Language and grade 5 in GCSE English Literature.

As an international student you must:

  • Demonstrate a suitable level of academic English, normally at CEFR level B1. For Tier Visa applications Portsmouth College recommends a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 overall (with no component lower than 5) to best succeed in your studies.
  • Demonstrate that you are competent to study at Level 3 in your chosen subjects during your application, including certificates of your qualifications and subject specific requirements such as evidence of an art portfolio for entry on to one of our Art courses.
  • Successfully complete a Skype interview with the College to discuss and assess your choices.

You will explore a range of plays, prose and poems. Texts to be studied include the novels Never Let Me Go and Frankenstein; plays include The Importance of Being Earnest or A Streetcar Named Desire, and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; we also study a 21st Century poetry anthology, in addition to either a Romantic or Modernist poetry collection. This broad approach to literature will appeal to students who: enjoy reading a wide variety of texts; like to explore the changing nature of plays, prose and poetry; would like to explore how writers are influenced by the world they live in.

In addition to developing your analytical skills, the English Literature course helps you to explore how social and historical context illuminates different readings of your chosen texts. You will also learn how to apply your understanding of writers’ intentions when considering the intended meanings of their works, and how to successfully draw comparative links between texts. Finally, the English Literature course prepares students for university education by exploring academic essays and literary theories relevant to the prose, poetry and drama explored in lessons.

80% Exam / 20% Coursework

The College’s E6 Programme will integrate opportunity into academic study to help prepare you for the next steps after College. There are many E6 courses that complement English Literature. These include; the Extended Project (EPQ), Hinglish, mentoring through the Portsmouth Scholars scheme and Unloc’s ‘You Speak’ debating competition.

As a facilitating subject, English Literature is highly valued and especially sought after by Russell Group universities. This challenging subject shows your ability to access and think critically about a wide range of texts, in addition to highlighting your written and verbal articulation. English Literature complements the majority of subjects offered at Portsmouth College by providing you with an excellent course combination. Students who have studied A level English Literature have gone on to pursue university subjects and careers in: English, Journalism, Media Studies, Drama and Theatre Studies, History, Law and Education.

The three exams will take place in May/June of the second year of the course.