English Language and Literature

A Level

Exam Board: Edexcel

2 years


Course Content:

At Alton College on the English Language and Literature A-Level you will study:

  • Anthology; ‘Voices in Speech and Writing’ is a diverse selection of non-fiction texts from a variety of genres, such as autobiography, travelogue, and interview.
  • Shakespeare; Othello (the play will be compared to ‘The Great Gatsby’, linked to the theme of society and the individual).
  • Drama; the modern classic play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams set in 1950s New Orleans.
  • Novel: ‘The Great Gatsby’, written and set in America following the story of a mysterious man’s desire to achieve the ‘American Dream’, in the midst of the hedonistic Roaring Twenties.
  • Coursework: produce two original pieces of writing based on studies of the non-fiction novel, ‘In Cold Blood’, and a selection of modern short stories. You will then critically analyse your own writing, considering how you have adapted your language for genre, audience, purpose.


20% course work, 80% exams.
2 exam papers; Voices in Speech and Writing and Varieties in Language and Literature.

Studying at Alton College:

Lesson activities are wide ranging, from debates to creative writing to detailed linguistic analysis. Lessons include creative responses to texts like painting and collage, as well as literary and language theory. We also organise a range of trips to lectures from leading experts in the fields of Language and Literature.

Entry requirements:

Students should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4. For GCSEs which remain with the old grading system, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C.

You must have achieved at least a grade 5 in GCSE English.

Course costs:

Purchase of set texts: c. £30 over two years
Printing costs £5 per year
Optional trips from £20 each

English Language and Literature works well with: