Two year course
You should have a minimum of 2 grade Bs and 4 grade Cs at GCSE which must include English Language at grade B (grade 6) or above.
What will I study?
The specification gives the choice of focusing on tragedy or comedy. Currently our students concentrate on tragedy and the texts are chosen to fit this.
From AQA’s list of set texts we have chosen Shakespeare’s Othello, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and a selection of John Keats’ poetry. These texts may vary in some years but will give students the opportunity to explore concepts such as the role of the tragic hero, the role of fate, how language highlights tragedy and how structure leads to a tragic ending. Assessment at the end of the first year is by a combination of closed and open book examinations.
Students build on their first-year studies with the addition of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, Jim Crace’s Harvest and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, all under the heading Political and Social Protest Writing. Assessment, worth 80% of the final grade, is by formal examination. In addition students complete a Non-Exam Assessment, worth 20% of the final grade. Here, alongside AQA’s Critical Anthology which contains a range of texts, students study Chaucer’s The Miller’s Tale, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and George Orwell’s 1984. They produce two pieces of written work of up to 1500 words each, one a conventional essay and the other a piece of re-creative writing, for example the retelling of a text from a minor character’s viewpoint.
Good course combinations
This course combines well with most A Levels.
What could it lead to?
Degree level study in areas such as English, journalism, creative and media industries, public relations, museum work, civil service, law etc. Past students have gone on to study English at Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities.