Skip to content ↓

English Literature

Syllabus Title: OCR English Literature

Examination Board: OCR

Assessment Outline:

A Level
Component 1 Shakespeare Poetry pre 1900 Shakespeare and poetry pre-1900 (Closed text) 60 marks. Written paper 1 hour 30 minutes. Example texts: John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi; Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House; Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband; Geoffrey Chaucer: The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale; Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Selected Poems; Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Maud  40% of total A level
Component 2 Drama post-1900 Prose post-1900 Drama and Prose post-1900 (Closed text) 60 marks. Written paper 1 hour 45 minutes. Example texts: Hamlet; Twelfth Night 40% of total A level 
Component 3  Close reading OR recreative writing piece with commentary. Comparative essay

There is a choice of five topics as follows:

• American Literature 1880–1940
• The Gothic
• Dystopia
• Women in Literature
• The Immigrant Experience.

Example texts: F Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby; Bram Stoker: Dracula; George Orwell: Nineteen EightyFour; Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility; Henry Roth: Call It Sleep

20% of total A level

Studying A level: The aims of this course are to enable learners to develop their interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies as they: read widely and independently both set texts and others that they have selected for themselves; engage creatively with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them; develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in their own creative writing and explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others’ interpretations of them.

Entry Requirements: Students must have achieved a Grade 6 or above at GCSE Language and/or Literature. 

Future Career Options: A qualification in English literature will enable you to access a plethora of university degrees. Generally speaking, English literature is a subject well respected by potential universities owing to the numerous transferable skills it demonstrates. The subject can lead students on to a variety of degree-level subjects such as Journalism, Publishing, Editing, Teaching, not to mention opening up doors for those seeking a career in alternative, but connected, industries such as Law, Advertising and Media and Politics. The analytical and communicative skills associated with English Literature also apply well to areas of business, such as Public Relations.

Further Reading List:

Alongside the core texts listed above, students are encouraged to widen their reading with the following texts:

  • Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  • The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  • A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  • Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • V for Vendetta – Alan Moore and David Lloyd
  • Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – Anon
  • Beowulf – Seamus Heaney (translation)
  • Any Shakespeare text.