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English Literature A-Level

English Language A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

Qualification: A-Level | Exam board: OCR

English Literature will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills established at GCSE level.  You will be introduced to the discipline of advanced literary studies and will be required to read all the major literary genres of poetry, prose, and drama.

You will develop knowledge and understanding of how writers shape meaning in texts; how individual texts are interpreted by different readers, and how texts relate to one another and to the contexts in which they are written and read.

It will develop skills that can benefit students in a range of careers including Teaching, Journalism, Research, Administration and Translating.

Spanish A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

Year one content

You will study a Shakespeare play and a poetry collection from before 1900. You will also study a drama text written after 1900 and a prose text (novel) written after 1900.

Possible choices include Hamlet, Coleridge’s poems, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, and The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.


Year two content

You will consolidate the learning from the first year  and study a drama text from before 1900.

Possible authors include John Webster, Henrik Ibsen, and Oscar Wilde. You will also study a range of texts from one of the following possible topics: American literature 1880-1940, the gothic, or women in literature.

Additional information

What does this subject prepare me for?

English Literature will prepare you for a range of Higher Education study including English, History, Communications, Journalism, and Languages.

Subject support and enrichment

During the subject, you will have the opportunity to attend academic conferences on English Literature which will feature prominent scholars and writers.

In previous years we have heard Jeanette Winterson and Carol Ann Duffy read. There will also be the opportunity to go on theatre trips. We have also seen productions of War Horse and Much Ado About Nothing.


Students will be assessed internally on a regular basis, including through formal mock exams. There are final exams at the end of the course in Year two.

Year Two assessment:

Two closed text exams, each 2 hours 30 minutes long – Drama and poetry pre-1900; Comparative and contextual study. One coursework task worth 20% of the total A-Level.

Entry requirements

Some of our subjects are subject to standard entry requirement and some have additional requirements. Please see below:

Subject specific entry requirements

  • 6 in English (Literature or Language)

Standard entry requirements

  • At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)


  • At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3


  • Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)


  • Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
  • Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level
September 2024

Apply now!

Applications for a September 2024 start at The Bedford Sixth Form are open now! Apply now and achieve great things.

Please note: Applications will close on Friday 31 May 2024. Applications made after this date will be added to a waiting list.