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A Level English Literature

Course Level: 

Level 3

Job opportunities after this course: 

English Literature is a very useful subject for a variety of professions such as: teaching, journalism, librarian and information work, advertising/marketing, creative writing.

Overview of the course: 

Awarding Body - Edexcel

Unit 1: Students will study two dramatic comedies

Unit 2: This will include the study of two novels taken from the supernatural genre

Component 3: Post-2000 Specified Poetry and Victorian Poetry

Component 4: This unit allows students to study two novels of their own choice before producing an independent piece of coursework

Students will gain:

• Excellent essay writing skills
• Critical/independent thinking skills
• A wide social and historical awareness of literature
• An understanding of the school of literary critics
• A knowledge of literary language

You will sit AS exams at the end of year one and A Level exams at the end of year two.

Entry requirements: 

For English Literature you will need grade 6 or above in English or English Literature at GCSE.

For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of five 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.

For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of six 9-4 grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at 7-9 grade.
Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.


Unit 1: Students will study aspects of the form of drama via two plays. Students study Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. This is an interesting and exciting unit that allows students to engage in critical debate surrounding the presentation of the social classes, gender, religion, education through various literary lenses within the world of comedy. This unit will be assessed by exam.

Unit 2: Students will enter into the weird and wonderful universe of the supernatural via Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Portrait of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. Not only will students delve deep into the dark world of the gothic, but look closely at the social and historical contexts influencing the major themes and issues within the text. This unit will be assessed by exam.

Unit 3: In this unit, students will study a selection of poems from two published poetry texts. They will consider the concerns and choices of modern-day poets in a selection of contemporary poems. Additionally, students will study one of the most famous female poets in literary history, Christina Rossetti. This Victorian poet is famous for transgressing fairy-tale conventions and writing controversial poetry of her time. Students will have the chance to uncover the darker messages behind Rossetti’s poetry before being assessed by an exam.

Unit 4: The final unit of the course will be assessed through coursework. Students will study two novels of their choice before producing a comparative analysis, applying all of the skills learnt across the year. This unit gives students the chance to take control of their own literary research and produce a piece of work at their own pace. Previous students have covered novels such as The Color Purple by Alice Walker or even Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

How is the course assessed?: 

40% Coursework- Internally assessed coursework folder and 60% exam- both AS and A2.

Further study options after this course: 

Traditional University Routes include:

BA (Hons) English Literature
BA (Hons) English Studies
BA (Hons) English Language
BA (Hons) Creative Writing
BA (Hons) History

Length of the course: 

2 Years, Full Time.


Peterlee Campus

When does the course start: 

September 2019

More important information about this course:


*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (27 Jun 2019 13:09) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

What our students say: 

We regularly work with QDP, the UK’s largest independent provider of questionnaire based feedback services to the education sector, so that any results can be benchmarked against other colleges and the voices of over 600,000 learners QDP gathers feedback from over the course of an academic year.
Our feedback scores consistently place us in the top quartile of colleges in the country, indicating that we not only meet but often exceed student expectations. Some results from the 2015/2016 on programme and exit surveys and the 2016/17 induction survey can be seen below.
98% stated it was easy to apply for the course
96% said the teaching on my course is good
99% felt that their teacher knows their subject well
97% told us they felt safe at college
98% said expected standards of behaviour were made clear
95% told us they felt they had developed the skills they needed to get a job/take their next step
95% agreed the teachers consistently challenge them to do their best
97% said teacher feedback told them what was going well and where to improve

'English Literature has helped me to develop my critical thinking skills; I have loved studying ‘the gothic’ at A2 level' – Sarah

'The course has offered an insight into a variety of different aspects of literature. I have enjoyed the Gothic content thoroughly, especially The Bloody Chamber' - James

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How to apply: 

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