English Literature

English Literature

“I love studying English because it allows me to think creatively, but also critically about complex ideas and topics.”

Subject Specific Entry Criteria

  • Grade 5 in GCSE English Language
  • Grade 5 in GCSE English Literature


Exam Board

Units Studied

  • Component 1 – Shakespeare, Drama and Poetry Comparative and Contextual Study (40% of overall grade). Texts studied will be Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Webster’s Duchess of Malfi.
  • Component 2 – Comparative and contextual study (40% of overall grade). Focus on the Gothic genre. Text studied will be Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and one other Gothic text. You will also be looking at a variety of Gothic extracts for the unseen aspect of the paper.
  • Component 3 – NEA (coursework) : Close reading of poetry and comparative essay (20% of overall grade). NEA folder will be 2 tasks. The first will be a 1,000 word essay analysing one of Plath’s poems and the second will be a 2,000 word comparative essay looking at Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire and one modern prose text.


Course Information

English Literature is the study of poetry, prose and drama. If you like reading and want to take on a more challenging range of texts than those studied at GCSE, then English Literature would be an enjoyable course for you. We study a variety of different texts ranging from the bard himself, Shakespeare, to more recent modern texts such as Carter. Through our  specialism in the Gothic, you will get a sense of how the genre has evolved and also get the opportunity to see how literature can be taboo and also used as a social comment about the way we live. Students are encouraged to explore their own interpretations and ideas as well as being introduced to critics and wider reading.


Possible Career Paths

English Literature is a facilitating subject for the Russell Group universities. The study of English Literature is suitable for entry to a broad range of career paths including: journalism and media careers; the law; teaching and business. A qualification is a testament to your communication skills and therefore viewed favourably by employees.


Extra Curricular

Past trips have included trips to the RSC in Stratford for Measure for Measure, Milton’s cottage, Nottingham University for a lecture on the Gothic and an English Society hosted a
study day on Shakespeare.