English Literature

Type of qualification – A Level

Exam Board – OCR

Course Description

Do you have a passion for looking at the world through literature? If so, then this two year course will introduce you to hundreds of years of literature in English, allowing you to consider characters, themes, contexts and the craft of the writer across the centuries.

Through the course you will learn to analyse literature from different genres and develop your ability to create academic argument. Your input, ideas and engagement are crucial and you will be encouraged to develop sophisticated responses and writing styles. This course complements many A Level courses and is well recognised and appreciated by universities and employers.

You will study Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Marlowe’s Renaissance queer play Edward II, Chaucer’s feminist Merchant’s Tale, The Great Gatsby, Richard Wright’s black civil rights novel Native Son, plus literature of war including your choice of a modern novel and WW1 poetry and Pink Mist, a recent play about soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

Students have gone on to attend their chosen universities, including Oxford, Exeter, Warwick and a range of the UK’s newer universities to study courses as diverse as history, journalism and law, as well as English. Some students have also found the life experience gained through literature invaluable in their careers in the care sector or using their skills in analysis and communication to gain employment in the business sector.

Interesting fact about studying this at S6C

The programme at S6C can be modified to reflect the interest and strengths of each class and each individual can access expert help in class or by email. Work is assessed on a regular cycle and every piece is used to generate further improvement. The supportive atmosphere at S6C and the ‘grown up’ approach to education are conducive to reflection and engagement with the world through English Literature.

Trips will be arranged to see relevant plays and talks – recent visits have included watching Marlowe’s Edward II in Greenwich Theatre and touring Elizabethan London’s Bankside area.


80% Examination
20% Coursework

Equipment Required 

Set texts

General Entry Requirements

5 GCSE qualifications with minimum grade 4

Subject Specific Requirements

Level 6 – English Literature

What our students think

“Comments at the end of my essays and the food for thought and encouragement that my teacher gave me made me actually enjoy learning.”
Amelia, previously South Wilts Girls’ Grammar School