English Literature

Exam Board: AQA

Why study this subject?  

Studying English Literature helps to sharpen your analytical skills. If you can take a text and find the themes plus connect it with other texts, theories and historical events, you are showing that you can handle complex ideas, search for patterns and interpret information in a wider context.

This is essential because not only is reading a wonderful pastime, but in life you will read and consider so many things. Reading and analysing will prepare you for reading/writing in higher education and work, to build a cultural connection with the world around you and to open opportunities which lie in work and in the world.

What will a typical lesson look like?

Much like a normal lesson there will be the normal Do Now Tasks, Plenaries and as you can imagine English will do a significant amount of extended writing.

In Literature most of all, reading. Lots of reading. This can often be collaborative but there will be an expectation on all students to read at least once in some way, whether that is a few lines from a novel or the character in a play.

However you can also expect to be discussing the text as a class or group. Annotating extracts and model work. The texts we have chosen to study with you are selected for their accessibility, relevance and engagement. We hope you love them as much as we do!

What does Homework look like in this subject?

You can expect to be set one piece of homework per week – this could be an essay, questions, quotation explosions or researched based. Teachers will expect you to read regularly and learn/revise the texts you are studying in class.


The English literature GCSE will require study of:

Where can it lead?

Every college, university, apprenticeship and job will consider English literature a strong and valid GCSE. This is because it is completed by most students in the country and gives them a good comparison point when looking at applications. It also is a challenging subject so it allows a potential employer or university to see your ability and even in subjects like ICT or engineering, a good English literature qualification shows your work ethic, taking pride in all your work and not just a chosen option.

At NUAST we offer A-Level English Literature, but if this is not for you, English Literature is good for any job that involves communication, writing and / or literary knowledge. These include: advertising and marketing, writing and journalism, law, consultancy, business, teaching, performing arts, academia, government, linguistics, foreign languages, media and design. Careers in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths also need more English than you think. Writing proposals, academic papers and articles and communicating with others is key to getting funding for projects and reaching people with your work.