English Literature AS/A2 Level

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Course Specifics

Sixth Form
Level 3
16-18 School Leavers
1 year for AS Level 2 years for full A Level
Interview Required:
Age 16-18 Cost:
No cost
Age 19 or Over:
Funding Assisted:
Yes - If it's your first full Level 3 and you're aged 19-23 your course is funded otherwise Advanced learner loans are available
Books on a shelf 1 copy video

Course overview

It is Literature which for me opened the mysterious and decisive doors of imagination and understanding. To see the way others see. To think the way others think. And above all, to feel - Salman Rushdie

A Level Literature builds directly on the skills gained during your studies at GCSE level. A lot of the terminology such as ‘imagery’ and ‘metaphor’ will still apply, so if you are confident with this, it will be a great advantage. The difference will be that you are expected to study texts more independently, considering them carefully from a variety of perspectives.

We will look closely at how authors have chosen to tell their stories using characterisation, time and sequencing, setting, point of view and narrative style. Literature will also sharpen your discussion skills and help you to ask interesting questions. Over the next two years you will explore a range of Literary Genres such as: tragedy, political and crime writing in prose, poetry and drama. Texts studied will involve a wide range of topics, including an exploration of the historical and critical approaches to particular works. Although this course does not directly involve creative writing, reading a range of texts will also help develop your own skills as a writer and essayist.

The first year covers the dramas Othello and Death of a Salesman; the novel The Great Gatsby and a selection of poetry by John Keats. We will also study different critical approaches and ways of interpreting texts.

Who is this course for?

You will also have an excellent work ethic as A Level work is not easy but opens up the door to many careers in the future. In addition you also need to have an interest in Literature: you will be expected to do a lot of independent reading to reinforce what is done in the classroom. You also have to be willing to read texts that may not be your usual reading choice-we hope you enjoy the texts but it’s even more important that you are able to go beyond your own opinion and analyse them. This is a course for students who love books!

The Literature course fits in very well with A level English Language and Creative Writing but will also help in the study of all A levels, as the critical thinking skills you develop are very transferable.

Entry qualifications

Ideally you will be achieving at least 25 points/5 x 5 points or above/A*-C/9-4 grades at GCSE (or equivalent), including English and Maths.

What other experience will I gain?

Being part of Chesterfield College Sixth Form is about so much more than A Levels. We want you to leave us with as many skills as possible to help you with you next step (as well as making your time here fun). That's why you'll also get the opportunity to take part in visits; we will try to go to the theatre at least once during your course. In addition, Literature students are active, student ambassadors and Peer mentors – Y13 students often pair up with Y12 students to offer help and support.

Where will this lead?

You will be able to progress to university level study or to employment. Former Literature students are now studying English Literature at university in Derby, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield Hallam. In addition, some students have progressed to study Drama and English Literature at Queen Margaret College, London.

What are my career options?

What Ofsted say

"Don’t get behind with the reading! There’s a lot more than at GCSE and you’ve got to keep up. Getting used to the detail that’s needed at A level took some time, but it was worth it to get a better grade.”

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