What is English Literature?

English Literature is the study of plays, novels and poetry. Yet we hope that you will share our view that it is so much more than that! To study Literature is also to study human nature, relationships, ideas, culture, politics, history, science, faith, life, the universe… and everything in between! Literature can make us laugh, cry, feel anger, sympathy, hatred and (of course!) love. It can increase our understanding of the world and our place within it, but can also unsettle and challenge our views and opinions. Literature can be a powerful tool, with the potential to change the lives and opinions of readers and inspire them to challenge social problems and injustices. Great works of English Literature remain relevant as new generations of readers continue to find them inspirational. We hope that you too will enjoy the exciting exploration of our rich literary history.

English Literature is the study of plays, novels and poetry.

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Specifics

  • Course specific entry requirements

    Grade 5 from English Language and Literature

  • Assessment methods

    3 final exams and coursework

  • Course duration

    2 years

  • Course type

    Linear A-level

  • Exam board

    Edexcel

How you will study

English Literature involves the study of a wide range of texts from a variety of historical and cultural traditions. You will read extracts from the texts in class but there is also a strong emphasis on independent reading – particularly with regard to the novels on the course. Your experience of English Literature will involve a range of activities. You will discuss the texts as a class and in groups – one of the great joys of studying English Literature is to hear and respond to the views of others. We want you to engage with the opinions of other readers and be confident that you are a literary critic in your own right! You will also learn how to write clear, concise and focused essays, which convey your opinions with flair and accuracy. We seek to prepare you for university study, and ensure that you leave our course having produced the best essays you have ever written!

Course content summary:

  • Drama
  • Prose
  • Poetry
  • Coursework

Course Content

  • Drama

    Students will study the genre of tragedy in two drama texts, one of which will be a Shakespeare play.

  • Prose

    Students will study two novels with a shared theme. At least one of these will be a pre-1900 text.

  • Poetry

    Students will be asked to respond to a selection of 21st Century poetry taken from the “Poems of the Decade” anthology. In the second year of the course, they will also study a range of poetry from a specific literary period or poet.

  • Coursework

    Students will study two texts and produce an extended comparative essay of 2500-3000 words.

What can I do after Xaverian?

These subjects are highly valued by universities. Some of the many career opportunities include Journalism, Teaching, Law, TV, Radio, Social Work, Politics and Psychology.

What support can I expect?

In addition to the extensive support offered by the college, we also provide web-based resources, extra revision sessions and support when you need it.

Course Content

  • Drama

    Students will study the genre of tragedy in two drama texts, one of which will be a Shakespeare play.

  • Prose

    Students will study two novels with a shared theme. At least one of these will be a pre-1900 text.

  • Poetry

    Students will be asked to respond to a selection of 21st Century poetry taken from the “Poems of the Decade” anthology. In the second year of the course, they will also study a range of poetry from a specific literary period or poet.

  • Coursework

    Students will study two texts and produce an extended comparative essay of 2500-3000 words.

What can I do after Xaverian?

These subjects are highly valued by universities. Some of the many career opportunities include Journalism, Teaching, Law, TV, Radio, Social Work, Politics and Psychology.

What support can I expect?

In addition to the extensive support offered by the college, we also provide web-based resources, extra revision sessions and support when you need it.