Exam Board Entry Requirements Subject Leader

Minimum of grade 6 should be achieved in both English Language and English literature.  The willingness to read widely, to work independently and to produce regular essays of around 1200-1500 words will be required. 

Mr D Dwyer

To encourage deep learning through a selection of demanding texts which empower and encourage thought provoking debate amongst students.  From this, students will become empowered to develop and transfer these skills through essay writing and oral presentations during the study of eight literary texts and unseen poetry.


Component 1: Drama- two hour and fifteen minute open book examination. 30% of the final mark

Drama will cover one Shakespearean play and one other drama from the genre of tragedy, these tests include Dr Faustus (A text) by Christopher Marlowe ( ISBN-10: 0582817803 ISBN-13: 978-0582817807) and Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

The study of a Shakespearean play will be supported by a Critical Anthology on either genre.

Students will answer two essay questions, one on each play studied.


Component 2: Prose- one hour open book examination. 20% of the final mark

Prose will study two texts from a chosen theme – Women and Society, these texts include Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (pre-1900) and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Students will answer one comparative essay question from a choice of two on their studied theme.

Component 3: Poetry- two hour and fifteen minute open book examination. 30% of the final mark.

Poetry will explore poetic form, meaning and language for both contemporary (post -2000 poetry) and a range of poetry from either a specified poet or literary period:

T.S. Eliot: Selected Poems – Faber: ISBN 9780571247059

Students will also study poetry from the anthology Poems of the Decade:

An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002–2011  (ISBN-10: 0571325408 ISBN-13: 978-0571325405)


Coursework- 20% of the final mark.

Students will study two texts that are linked by theme, genre, and ideas and produce a comparative essay between 2500-3000 words.  This will be internally assessed and moderated by the examination board.


Three externally examined papers and one coursework component.

Progression into Higher Education/Vocational Destinations

One of the advantages of choosing English is that the subject is highly regarded by admissions tutors and employers.  It is a popular subject at university - not least because it is intrinsically enjoyable and (for those who have the skill and enthusiasm) not too difficult!  Careers in law, journalism, the media and education are possibilities but the study of English provides a valuable general background for many areas.  At Advanced Level, English can be successfully combined with many other subjects including mathematics and the sciences, but modern languages, history and classical studies are well-established combinations.

Further Information

Candidates will be required to demonstrate an ability to respond to a range of texts with understanding and knowledge.  They will need an ability to discuss their own and other readers’ interpretations of texts and an ability to communicate informed, independent opinions and judgements.  These objectives will be assessed through written examinations and coursework.