Why study A Level English Literature?

A Level English Literature continues to enjoy an unrivalled reputation as academically rigorous and

enriching. The OCR course is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure. You will come to know and love some of the most famous works of Literature by some of the greatest writers that ever lived, including Shakespeare, F Scott Fitzgerald and TS Eliot. You will end up knowing thought-provoking Literature inside out. You will never forget it. Literature is not only an appreciation of the written word and an aesthetic engagement with our beautifully multi-layered English language, it is also an engagement with history, politics, psychology, scientific theory, philosophy and theology.

You will learn about the influence of contextual factors on the texts you study and find out about literary theory. You will learn how to think, how to structure ideas, develop arguments logically, and write with fluency and control. These skills are essential for any career that involves communication and problem-solving. We also want you to enjoy the cultural richness of Literature through trips to the theatre, lectures, attendance of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature and the perennially popular Quantocks trip, which follows in the footsteps of the Romantic poets.

What will I study? The two year course consists of three components:

Component 1 – Shakespeare (Hamlet), plus one drama text and one poetry text pre-1900 (for example, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and Milton’s Paradise Lost).
Worth 40% of the final A Level

Component 2 – a wide-ranging study of a particular area of Literature, for example Gothic Literature or American Literature 1880-1940.
Worth 40% of the final A Level

Component 3 – coursework on post-1900 Literature, one collection of poetry, one play and one novel, one of which must be published post- 2000. For example, The Wasteland by TS Eliot, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and Atonement by Ian McEwan.
Worth 20% of the final A Level

Kate Ledlie Head of English