English Literature


They say that English Literature examines three things: who we are, what we are and why we are. This trinity is known as The Human Condition. 

English Literature explores The Human Condition in some of the most amazing and beautiful language that has ever been written; it introduces you to some of the most incredible characters that have ever been imagined; sometimes it tells you the saddest and funniest stories within the pages of one book. 

By studying English Literature, you can not only inherit the wisdom of the ages in your journey to adulthood, whilst fostering deep powers of reflection and analysis in your thinking and your writing. The course will endow you with qualifications far beyond an exam grade that can go on your CV. 

You may want to know what passion, heroism and villainy can drive people to, or why our lives can take extraordinary twists and turns. Look no further than Literature. 

The holy grail for some Literature students is to become a writer, but English can lead to specific careers in journalism, law, publishing, editing and teaching, as well as equipping you for almost any future profession. Even if he did have to take a conversion course in rocket science to become an astronaut, would Neil Armstrong really have said “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” without majoring in English?! 

Course Outline

Unit One: Drama and poetry pre-1900

Shakespeare play

Poetry from Christina Rossetti

A 19th Century play


Unit Two: Dystopian Fiction

1984, George Orwell

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

Dystopian extracts


Unit Three: Non-exam assessment

Close reading or re-creative writing piece with commentary

Comparative essay


2x 2 hour 30 ( closed book) exams each worth 40%

Written coursework worth 20%


A minimum of one grade 5 and one grade 6 in English (this can be either way around for Literature or Language).