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English Literature

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What’s it all about?

The study of literature allows you to transport yourself across place and time, experiencing different cultures, historical periods and even exploring possible futures. If you love reading, taking English Literature is a great opportunity to enrich your knowledge of the world and deepen your appreciation for and experience of a wonderful array of texts. We will follow the AQA specification A syllabus, which centres around two themes: Paper 1 – ‘Love Through the Ages’ and Paper 2 – ‘Texts in Shared Contexts’. We will study novels, plays and poetry, analysing how a diverse range of writers explore similar ideas and themes. The course builds on skills learned at GCSE, so that you can begin your A Level study with confidence.

Books lined up in a Rookwood School English class.

What skills will I need to be successful?

If you are an enthusiastic reader and have an interest in a variety of genres and texts from different eras, then this course would be a great choice for you. Equally, if you enjoy analysing texts in detail and debating your views, then you could be well-suited to A Level English Literature, where you will be required to think critically and express your opinions eloquently.

As well as reading, English Literature also promotes authorship, so keen writers would benefit from studying the subject in order to learn more about literary styles, the use of narration and voices in writing, as well as the development of the English language throughout history.

Where can it take me in the future?

In addition to instilling a life-long love of literature, this is a versatile subject, which will equip you with skills you can use to complement many other subject choices at A Level and will provide the foundation for a diverse range of career options. Not only will the study of English Literature develop your confidence in analysis, debate and critical thinking, but you will also develop your communication skills; your responses to texts will need to be explained, as well as supported by evidence and convincingly argued interpretations. English Literature graduates are highly employable because of essential communication skills, which you will refine through your study of the subject. Some popular careers for those who study English include teaching, advertising, PR and journalism, marketing and publishing.