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English Literature is the study of poetry, prose and drama from a variety of different historical periods, including current productions. You will analyse texts aesthetically, stylistically and politically as we look at their impact and beauty, their mastery of the English language and the importance of their meanings in contributing to the experience of what it means to be human.
You will study texts across all three genres; poetry, prose and drama. The course will incorporate a poetry exam paper (comparing Duffy’s Mean Time and Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings, and a question on Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale), a drama exam paper (comparing Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and a question on Shakespeare’s The Tempest) an unseen paper (poetry and prose) and a comparative piece of coursework on two pieces of prose (one pre 2000 and one post 2000). The breadth of the course ensures a firm grounding in some of the most interesting works of English Literature from across the centuries right up to modern day.
Popular degree courses chosen by past students have included English Literature, Linguistics, Creative Writing and Drama at top universities such as Lancaster, Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol and York. Students who have studied English Literature at A Level have gone on to a broad range of careers including teaching, journalism, publishing and marketing to name a few. We even have some past students training with us within the department to become English teachers!
At least two 5s and three 4s at GCSE, including at least a 5 in English Language and English Literature.
English Language, History, Philosophy, Politics, Modern Foreign Languages, Drama & Theatre Studies, Psychology and Sociology all work very well alongside Literature, but equally we have students study the course successfully alongside Science and Maths based subjects.
In Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables, you can find a sentence that is 823 words long.