English Literature

Course Overview

This subject will encourage you to look more closely at different texts and to make connections between them. You will be introduced to some of the interesting contextual factors that shaped the writing and the different readings of texts. 

In year one you will study Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and the poetry of Edward Thomas and Alun Lewis. In year two you will study The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale by Chaucer and King Lear by Shakespeare.

You will also complete a coursework module on two prose texts from different periods.

Updated July 2017

Entry Requirements

You need a minimum of seven GCSE passes at grade C or above with B grades in both English Literature and English Language.

Course Delivery

You will be taught by two lecturers, for four lessons per week, totalling 4.5 hours for AS and A2 students.

Assessment will include timed assignments, presentations and a mock exam at Christmas.

At AS you will be examined on modern poetry and drama:

LT1 Examination, open texts, two questions
Section A) Question comparing the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy (Core text) and Sheenagh Pugh (Partner text)
Section B) Question on drama text (Oleanna, David Mamet)

For coursework (20%) you will study a range of prose texts leading to creative writing and literary analysis:

LT2 Coursework - 3000 word portfolio
Section A) Essay comparing Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy (core text) with choice of partner text from a prescribed list.
Section B) Creative Reading: a creative piece inspired by a work of fiction (from a prescribed list) with a commentary exploring choices

At A2, for the exam, you will study poetry written before 1800 and a Shakespearean text:

LT4 Examination, two questions
1) Question asking you to explore The Wife of Bath, Chaucer, with an unseen poem.
2) Question comparing King Lear (core text) with Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (partner text)

The coursework (20%) will involve a comparative study of three texts with similar themes:

LT3 Coursework - one essay of 3000 words:
1) Essay comparing the poetry of Tony Harrison with Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart and a partner text of your choice (approved by centre).

Progression Opportunities

Staying at Gower College Swansea, students can progress on to the Foundation Degree in English and History.

Either A level English Literature or A Level English Language and Literature are essential for those who want to read English Literature at a higher level, but are also invaluable for future journalists, teachers and anyone who has an interest in using words with confidence. The course encourages the development of useful skills that will enhance career or higher education prospects: essay writing technique will improve as well as your ability to express yourself orally. However, perhaps more importantly, we hope that you will also develop a lifelong fascination with reading and discussing ideas.


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A Level and GCSE


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