Quick Links

Useful Links

Mirfield College

English Literature

A Level, English Literature

Studying English Literature at A Level will immerse students to an incredible world of poetry, prose and drama. It explores fictional texts which allows students to understand how they are created and how the characters, themes and plot come to life. This course provides the opportunity to explore some of the most revered texts throughout history, as well as crucial and sometimes controversial contemporary writing. Literature students are always challenged to see beyond the words on the page, and to develop a critical appreciation of the writing they study. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to the rigours of literary study, exploring the fascinating theme of ‘Love’ in a wide variety of texts. Alongside studying ‘Love Through the Ages’ students will be considering the contexts in which the texts were produced. Students read a variety of Modernist, Post-Modernist and Contemporary texts to explore the time period from different socio-political viewpoints and literary styles. This thematic study is completed alongside a comparative coursework assignment which will allow students the independence to explore in depth the literary theme of: The Gothic.













Course Outlines

Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in GCSE English Literature and Grade 5 in GCSE English Language.



Paper 1 – Love through the Ages = 40%

Paper 2 – WW1 and its aftermath = 40%

Non-examined assessment – Literature across time = 20%


Course Units

Love through the Ages:
F.Scott Fitzgerald s The Great Gatsby
Pre-1900 Poetry
William Shakespeare s Othello

Texts in Shared Contexts:
(Option 2B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day):
Carol Ann Duffy s Feminine Gospels
The Color Purple by Alice Walker

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Non-Examined Assessment:

  • A focus on Gothic literature across a variety of texts including:
  • Henry James's The Turn of the Screw
  • Oscar Wilde s The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Charlotte Perkins Gillman s The Yellow Wallpaper and other short stories'
  • Angela Carter s The Bloody Chamber and other short stories


Future Opportunities

Studying English Literature is invaluable for those planning to pursue a career in education, journalism, the media, theatre, publishing and even law. Previous students who have successfully completed this course have gone on to study English at degree level, as well as American studies, drama and history.


Further Information

If you have a passion for reading all kinds of texts including plays, poetry and novels, enjoyed studying English Literature at GCSE and want to stretch your analytical skills further, then this is the course for you. Effective communication skills, teamwork, independent study and dedication are essential for success in this course.