English Literature A Level

About the subject
English Literature A-level is an essential subject for studying an English degree. Choosing to study English at A level provides students with the opportunity to gain a highly regarded qualification and also essential skills which are considered key for many other Arts and Humanities subjects offered at university. A number of performing arts, media, and law degree courses ask for an English Literature or Language A-level and it is widely recognised by universities that the skills acquired through the study of English Literature are some of the most transferable. Skills include, but are not limited to: deep thinking, the ability to analyse different ideas and concepts, synthesis of complex texts and knowing how to build a convincing argument. All of these are considered invaluable in most other academic subjects and professional careers. Graduates with English degrees go on to success in a wide range of careers, such as journalism, publishing, broadcasting, marketing, teaching and politics.

At Open Academy, we offer the AQA specification which has a ‘distinct philosophy’ centred on different ways of reading and studying connections that exist between texts. Students are able to gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected and interpreted in order to arrive at unique conclusions. This helps our students to become confident autonomous readers who are not only equipped with the knowledge and skills they will need for exams, but are also experienced in the analysis of rich and challenging texts; an excellent basis for further study in the subject.

Students study a number of modern texts, pre-nineteenth century texts, poetry and plays. The course, in its first year, focuses on the genre of comedy or tragedy. The two-year course includes the study and examination of two drama texts, including Shakespeare, a pre-twentieth century text, crime writing and political and socialist protest writing. The coursework element, run in the first year, involves the study of both prose and poetry.

In order to be successful on the course, students will need to be able to write at length, carry out research independently and have a propensity for reading.

Entry requirements: Five 4-9 grades at GCSE including English Language and English Literature.

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