What is the course about?
AS Language and English Literature is perfect for students who like to analyse both British and American Literature, as it enables them to explore a range of literary and non-literary texts. These include an Anthology of well-known pre-1914 poetry which encapsulates the rich poetic tradition in the English language, Tennessee Williams’ deeply affecting human drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Truman Capote’s ground-breaking In Cold Blood, a radical ‘non-fiction novel’. Through their reading, students will be able to develop the skills required to assess the relative merits of texts, be analytical, consider other viewpoints, and make connections across a range of texts and to understand and evaluate the effects of a variety of contexts. This AS also gives students the chance to deepen their enjoyment of English language and literature both through reading and through creating their own texts.

The entire AS qualification is assessed through two examinations.

Students wishing to complete the full A Level will look at William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and create a coursework portfolio in which they analyse and write their own texts based on one of the following genres: gothic; science fiction; romance; dystopia; crime; satire/comedy; historical fiction; war/conflict; adventure/journeys; life-writing; journalism; travel; identity/the outsider.

Exam board: WJEC

Duration of course: One year for AS Level, leading to a second year for those that want to take the full A Level qualification.

What units/topics will be studied?
Component 1: Comparative Analysis and Creative Writing

Section A: Comparative analysis of poetry and unseen text
Section B: Creative writing and commentary

Component 2: Drama and Non-Literary Texts

Section A: Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Section B: Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

What can I do to prepare myself to study this subject?
The best way for students to prepare themselves would be to read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. They could also watch one of the film and TV versions available of In Cold Blood and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Ideally, students should also try to see any of Williams’ plays at the theatre before they start the course.

Where can this lead me?
Most students studying AS and A Level English Language and Literature do so to prepare themselves for a wide range of academic or/and vocational pathways. Many choose it in order to study for an English at university, with a view to pursuing careers in media, publishing, journalism, teaching or any occupation that requires strong communication and analytical skills. Often English Language and Literature is chosen because it is highly respected by universities and therefore works well alongside Humanities and Science subjects for those who are aiming for competitive courses such as Law and Medicine.

What are the enrichment opportunities as part of this subject?
Theatre trips, British Library research sessions, Globe Theatre workshops, Keats House, Kenwood House, Westminster Abbey, Literary London walking tours, Poetry workshops, eMag conferences.

Entry Requirements


C/5  – English Language,

C/5  – English Literature

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