Head of English
Examination Board: OCR
Why study English Literature?
English Literature at A-level is the stimulating academic discipline of reading and analysing literary prose, poetry and drama texts from various critical angles. It is one of the Russell Group’s ‘facilitating subjects’, highly regarded by universities and employers alike, and a subject that effectively demonstrates your ability to engage with sophisticated scholarly material and develop an argument based on interpretations informed by advanced literary concepts.
Many students who take English Literature as one of their A-level subjects do so because they have developed a fervent passion for literature; they love reading and discussing books, and find the ongoing search for a text’s many possible meanings a challenge to be readily accepted, not feared. You will have enjoyed GCSE Literature, having certainly developed an admirable set of skills that will provide the perfect starting point for the A-level Literature course; throughout these two years your expertise as literary critics will flourish and your analytical talents will advance.
English Literature is a humanities subject. Working well alongside others such as History and Philosophy, this subject can give you a window into the past, the present, and the future of the human experience. The works we study will provoke challenging socio-political discussions; address issues of gender, race, sexuality and culture; increase awareness and acceptance of different beliefs, practices and ideologies – both individual and collective. Above all, English Literature is a subject that helps the student to understand what it is to be human; by looking into the fictionally represented lives of others, we can begin to comprehend our own place in the world.