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Sixth Form

English Literature A Level

English Literature is a very popular and highly successful A Level subject at Embley. More than any other subject, it is one which will help you to grow as an individual and to develop critical cultural skills.

During the course, you will enjoy a wide range of prose, poetry and drama and, through close critical analysis and group discussion, learn to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research. These are all highly valuable skills for higher education and, more importantly, for life beyond education. Regular theatre trips are arranged in order to support set texts and to allow for alternative interpretations and a range of TV and film interpretations are studied alongside the reading.

In Year 12, you will study a Shakespeare play, an anthology of poetry and two prose texts, while considering the presentation of Love through the Ages. In Year 13, you will hone your critical thinking skills and, following an independent reading path, you will carry out a critical study of texts across time, whether it is the Gothic genre, satire and dystopia, or representations of race and ethnicity, for example. The course is assessed by two written papers and a 2500 word essay, but offers far more than that to those that engage with it.

What could be better than learning about the lives, loves, hopes and jealousies of people, both real and fictional, throughout the ages? Understanding the methods used by writers, to make political, social and historical comments about the world as they see it, is a great foundation for understanding humanity in general.

Examination board: AQA

Where could this course take you?

English Literature remains one of the most highly regarded subjects to study at Sixth Form and at university and is one of the subjects defined as ‘facilitating’ by the prestigious Russell group of universities, leading to a wide range of career opportunities, including journalism, advertising, creative writing, teaching, law, broadcasting, public relations and politics. More broadly, an enthusiasm for literature, added to an understanding of communication and human behaviour, will be invaluable, whichever path you choose to follow.