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A Level English Literature

  • LEVEL 3

Course Overview

This course is for those of you who are passionate about literature and are prepared to read extensively. The course texts span over 400 years of English literature allowing you to study texts in depth and place their production in a number of social and historical contexts.

It will prepare you for the critical and theoretical frameworks of analysis typical of higher education.

Course Code


End Date

Fri, 26 Jun 2026

Entry Requirements

Requires GCSEs in English language and English literature at grade 5, plus the standard entry requirements of an
A Level or mixed programme.

Course information

You will study a minimum of eight texts over two years. These texts will include examples of prose, poetryand drama. At least three of these texts must have been published before 1900 (one by Shakespeare), at least one work published after 2000 and one unseen text. In addition, you will consider the genre of Gothic Literature in depth.

The course requires you to consider the ways in which writers shape meaning, the different ways in which these meanings are interpreted over time and the way the texts relate to one another and to literary traditions, movements and genres. You will also consider carefully the cultural and contextual influences of both the writer and the reader.

2 Years

Paper 1 – Two hours and 30 minutes – Drama and pre-1900 poetry, three essay questions on Shakespeare and a pre-1900 poet, worth 40% of the marks.

Paper 2 – Two hours and 30 minutes – Close reading and comparative study – The Gothic, worth 40% of the marks.

Non-examined unit, worth 20% of the marks.

Level 3 OCR GCE A Level in English Literature

University, career or an apprenticeship

Level 3

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