English Literature A Level

You will develop your enjoyment and interest in literature and broaden your knowledge and understanding of poetry, plays and novels, from the seventeenth century to the present day. English Literature A Level is a core subject and you will be able to combine it effectively with any other mix of subjects. You will develop important skills such as critical analysis and writing skills which are highly valued by universities and, of course, by your future employer.

English is a subject for students who take real pleasure in reading. If you enjoy reading, this will probably be your favourite subject.

Course Content

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in English Literature consists of three examination papers and one coursework component. The qualification requires the study of eight literary texts plus unseen poetry. You will broaden and develop your intellectual skills in this subject; you will learn how to communicate clearly and write fluently, and you will discuss and read a variety of texts, covering drama, prose and poetry. You will be encouraged to participate in active debate about the texts and to develop an appreciation of alternative critical views

Component 1- Drama
Open book examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes (30%)
You will study one Shakespeare comedy play and one other drama: 'Twelfth Night' and 'A Street Car Named Desire'.

Component 2- Prose
Open book examination, lasting 1 hour (20%)
Theme: Science and Society.
You will study two prose texts from a chosen theme and answer one comparitive essay question from a choice of two. This year you will explore the thematic elements of Science and Society in 'Frankenstein' and 'The Handmaid's Tale'.

Component 3- Poetry
Open book examination, lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes (30%)
You will study poetic form, meaning and language from a selection of post-2000 poetry and a specified range of poetry from a literary period.

Selection of Poetry from Poems of The Decade:

  • An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry (2002-2011).
  • The Victorians: The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse, Editor Christopher Ricks (OUP,2008).

Coursework Component: Extended Comparative essay (20%).
This is an internally assessed comparative essay referring to two texts - 'The Kite Runner' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. The tota word count is 2500-3000 words.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5.0 points for your average GCSE score, English Language and English Literature at grades A*-C / 9-5 plus at least three other GCSEs from our specified range of GCSE subjects and a satisfactory reference.

International Entry Requirements

IELTS 5.5, High School Certificate Grade C / 5 or above (or equivalent).

Duration and Delivery

The A Level qualification is a full time course achieved over a two year period. The year begins in September and runs through to the beginning of July.


English Literature remains a very popular A Level subject and leads into a wide variety of degree courses at university. Careers in journalism, public relations and marketing are some of the future career options.

Additional Information

For more information please contact our Admissions Team on  020 8268 3073 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


English Literature A Level is taught at Kingston College so is ideal for those based in South West London and Surrey.


Kingston Hall Road

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