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English Literature

Exam Board - Eduqas

Course Content

Students study a range of texts across the three literary genres, poetry, prose and drama.  They also study texts from different periods up to and including post 2000 literature.  Throughout the course, students will develop their ability to enjoy and understand texts by enhancing their powers of analysis and judgement.  They will consider writers’ literary techniques, their methods and possible intentions.  Evaluative discussion is fostered and links between texts and contextual factors are explored, as are critical responses to texts.
The course consists of four units at A-Level, covering eight texts in total.  A diverse collection of poetry and prose will also be used to develop the skills of practical criticism.

Methods of Assessment

In the course of their learning, students engage in a number of activities such as group discussion and presentations,  however, the main mode of consolidating and demonstrating understanding is the formal essay.   At A-Level there are three examinations and a unit of coursework.  Students will be assessed via their class essays and mock examinations.

Component 1


Section A: Poetry pre-1900 (open-book, clean copy)

John Donne

One two-part question based on the reading of one pre-1900 poetry text.

Section B: Poetry post-1900 (open-book, clean copy)

Duffy and Larkin.
One question from a choice of two based on the reading of two post-1900 poetry texts.

30% of A-Level


2 Hour


Component 2


Section A: Shakespeare (closed-book)

‘King Lear’

One two-part question based on the reading of one Shakespeare play.

Section B: Drama (closed-book)

Tennessee Williams; ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and John Webster; ‘The Duchess of Malfi’

One question from a choice of two based on the reading of a pair of plays: one pre-1900 and one post-1900.

30% of A-level


2 Hour


Component 3

Unseen Texts

Section A: Unseen prose

One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen

passage of prose, taken from one of two prescribed periods

for study.

Section B: Unseen poetry

One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen

poem or poetry extract.

20% of A-level


2 Hour


Component 4

Prose Study

One 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts from different periods, one pre-2000; ‘The Remains of the Day’(Ishiguro) and one post-2000 ‘Atonement’(McEwan)

20% of A-Level


Other Information

Students are expected to read widely beyond the set texts and to enjoy the challenges presented to them through literature.  They should also visit the theatre as often as possible.  There is also an opportunity through school and house drama for students to experience the performance and production aspects of drama texts.
A-level English Literature provides a passport to a variety of courses in Higher Education.  It will also provide an excellent foundation for any courses or careers within the Arts and many professions in business, media, law and education.  The skills students develop are transferable to many areas of study as well as the work place.  Literary study also enables development of thought, feeling and cultural awareness, all of which support individuals in leisure and work, as well as in future study.

Entry Requirements

GCSE 6 in both English Language and English Literature.