English Literature

A Level

an open book

Availability & Details

English Literature, A-Level AF-ENLIAL-D(0000)000

Alton Campus

Type of study
A Levels, Full Time

Academic Year 2021-22 (2 years)

Examination board

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Do you love reading? If so, English Literature is for you. 

The course enables you to study a broad range of literary texts from modern poetry, to Shakespeare’s drama, Romantic poetry and contemporary novels. You will cover all aspects of how texts are influenced by contexts ranging from the 1300s to the 21st century. In lessons, you will learn how to analyse all aspects of text in depth as well as engaging in creative, drama and visual responses to literature. All classroom work involves discussion and debate whether in teams, groups or pairs. Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to watch live drama productions and hear authors discuss their own work at A Level conferences.

You should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4.

You must have achieved at least a grade 6 in GCSE English.

At HSDC Alton on the English Literature A Level you will study:

  • Poetry written since 2000; really modern, exciting poems.  Some are funny, some tragic, some experimental and all are thought provoking.
  • Classic poetry by John Keats; a Romantic poet who writes beautifully about love, loss and the concept of beauty.
  • Shakespeare; one play from a choice of eight.
  • 20th Century drama; the modern classic play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams set in 1950s New Orleans.
  • Novels: ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde, written and set in 1890s London following the story of a debauched party-goer who remains supernaturally youthful, compared with ‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison.  This second novel about the supernatural explores the trauma of slavery.
  • Coursework: a comparison of a radical new British play ‘Jerusalem’ written by Jez Butterworth and sold out in London theatres in 2006 with a second text about rebellion and magic.

Lessons activities are wide ranging, from debates to drama-based interpretations to detailed analysis and feedback.  Lessons include creative responses to texts like painting, collage, or ‘found-poetry’, as well as mini-lectures and research on context or theory.  We also organise a huge range of trips to theatres, poetry competitions and to develop understanding of context.

20% coursework, 80% exams.
Three exam papers; Prose, Drama and Poetry.

Purchase of set texts will be approximately £40 over two years.
Optional trips from £20 each.

My experience at the college has been really good, it’s been really rewarding, all the lecturers were so lovely and supportive there’s no way I could have done it without them - the teaching has been outstanding.

Lucie Brooks, A Level student

My experience with the teaching and support was really well, as I’m dyslexic, they helped me a lot and I’ve achieved good grades, so I’m really pleased.

Thomas McCann, A Level student

I would say it’s a college that really balances academia with fun, there is lots of extra-curricular stuff that you can get involved in. It has a really good work/life balance.

Laura Hagedorn, A Level student