Award Crest
York College


Entry requirements

You should have a minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE which must include English Language and English Literature at grade B (grade 6) or above.

What will I study?

This is a thought-provoking course that enables you to read, discuss, analyse and write about a range of literature.

Paper 1: Literary Genres: Tragedy or Comedy

Section A: One passage-based question on set Shakespeare text (25 marks)
Section B: One essay question on set Shakespeare text (25 marks)
Section C: One essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

(Possible texts: Shakespeare’s Othello, Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire, Hardy’s poetry, Keats’ poetry, Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest , Austen’s Emma, Betjeman’s poetry, Chaucer’s The Nun’s Priest’s Tale)

Paper 2: Texts and Genres: Crime Writing or Social Protest

Section A: One compulsory question on an unseen passage (25 marks)
Section B: One essay question on set text (25 marks)
Section C: One essay question which connects two texts (25 marks)

(Possible texts: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Greene’s Brighton Rock, Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience,  Tony Harrison’s Selected Poems)

Non-exam Assessment: Theory and Independence

Two essays of 1,250-1,500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical Anthology which includes: narrative theory, Feminist theory, Marxist theory, eco-critical theory, post-colonial theory, literary value and the canon.

Good course combinations

This course combines well with most other A Levels.

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 – 2 hours 30 minutes written examination
40 per cent of A Level, 75 marks, closed book.

Paper 2 – 3 hours written examination
40 per cent of A Level, 75 marks, open book.

Non-exam Assessment - 1,250-1,500 words for each essay
20 per cent of A Level, 50 marks.

What could it lead to?

On successful completion of this course, students may progress to HND or degree level study in such areas as English, journalism, creative and media industries, public relations, museum work, civil service, law and anywhere English is required. Students also have the opportunity to go into employment. Past students have gone on to study English at Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities and have used this A Level to support degrees in other subjects.

Need some help?

If you have any further questions about this course, or would like us to help you with your application, please contact the Schools Liaison team on 01904 770239 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.

100% Achievement in 2016.




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