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English Literature


Entry Requirements 

Six GCSEs at Grade 6 or above PLUS:

GCSE English Literature at Grade 7 or above 

Course overview

English Literature is an enjoyable course that provides an opportunity to explore the richness and variety of our great literary heritage in all its forms: novels, poetry and plays, from Chaucer’s writing in the medieval period to literature published after 2000. An enthusiasm for literature is required, together with a willingness to read widely around the set texts to place them in their cultural and historical contexts and to develop a critical understanding of the ways in which literary texts are interpreted.

A great deal of independent study is necessary to support the detailed work undertaken in lessons and the course is time-consuming, though very rewarding. 

Course content

  • Drama and Poetry pre-1900 - Shakespeare text, ‘Hamlet’ and comparison of Chaucer’s ‘The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale’ and Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’.
  • Comparative and Contextual Study: Women in Literature – Comparison of two linked novels, Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ and Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility' plus a comparative element with an unseen thematically linked text.
  • Literature post-1900 - analytical commentary of an extended passage from Tennessee William’s ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and a comparative essay on Kate Grenville’s ‘The Secret River’ and the collected poems of Judith Wright.


You will develop skills which are transferable both to university study and a wide range of career options where independent thinking, the evaluation and comparison of information, and close analysis of a variety of sources are required.