What is this course about and what will you study?

In this English Literature course (AQA Specification B) you will study a range of literary texts across drama, poetry and prose. Study of texts within the chosen literary and cultural genres for examination is enhanced by the study of critical theory in the non-exam assessment (NEA) . The course ensures that students gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected and how they can be interpreted in multiple ways. This enables students to make their own interpretations and become confident, critical readers. Students are then not only equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for both exams and nonexam assessment, but also experience a rich, challenging and coherent approach to English literature that provides an excellent basis for studying the subject at university.

The specification encourages the exploration of texts in a number of different ways:-

  • The study of texts within specific genres.
  • The study of texts through engagement with a range of theoretical ideas.
  • Writing about texts in a number of different ways.

Genre study is at the heart of English Literature and the two genres which students will study at All Saints Sixth Form College are political and social protest writing, and tragedy. Just as meanings of texts are not fixed, neither are definitions of genre, which frequently change and become blurred. The texts offered, therefore, are not necessarily classic examples of established genres and this is reflected in the modifying words ‘aspects of’ and ‘elements of’. Indeed, the specification takes into account the fact that writers often subvert the genre in which they are writing.

Working with genre involves looking at ways in which authors shape meanings within their texts. It also involves thinking about a wide range of relevant contexts, some of them to do with the production of the text at the time of its writing, some (where possible) to do with how the text has been received over time and, most of all in this specification, contexts to do with how the text can be interpreted by readers now. Looking at texts as generic works involves connecting individual texts with others, as the whole idea of genre is a connective one. And finally, because genres and their qualities are not fixed, this means that interpretation is not fixed, and that multiple interpretations are possible.

What will it prepare you for?

This course prepares you for entry to degree level study. It provides a strong starting point for studying English Literature or courses with English Literature as a course element. In combination with other P\ Levels, this course will prepare you for a wide range of Arts, Humanities or Law courses. This P\ level will also prepare you for employment or further study other than degree level. It demonstrates that you are able to read and analyse complex texts and explain your understanding to others. It also demonstrates that you are able to produce coherent, analytical writing. In addition, the non-examined assessment element (coursework) shows that you are able to plan your time, research meet deadlines, and produce an extended piece of analytical and exploratory writing independently.

Subject entry requirements:

  • GCSE grade 5 or above in English Language and Literature.

How you will be assessed:

Paper 1—Literary Genres (2 Hours 30 mins) 40%

Paper 2—Texts and Genres (3 Hours) 40%

NEA – Coursework Study 20%