English Literature A-Level, CIE

The English Literature course follows the Cambridge International A-level specification. It involves the students in the study of literature ranging from Shakespeare to the contemporary novel, and including poetry, modern drama and a variety of other texts from different eras and genres. Students read the texts and study the central themes, characters, styles and uses of language, as well as discussing a range of professional criticisms of the literature being studied. Students are supported in learning to construct suitable and effective responses to a range of questions about the literature studied. It is a perfect opportunity to see and understand the ideas, beliefs and motivations of a whole range of fictional characters, and therefore to gain a more complete understanding of the world in which we, and the writers, live or have lived. Anyone who enjoys reading books and discussing ideas and responses will find plenty here that is interesting, provocative and edifying. It is a prime opportunity for intellectual development of any young person.

How can English Literature contribute to a future career?

Academic qualifications in English Literature are widely respected since they build upon skills in essay writing, the use of language, argument, discussion, reading, and the analysis of language and genre. They can lead to the study of English or related subjects at university, as well as being valuable precursors to a degree or equivalent course in a wide range of other subjects. Many occupations value the aforementioned skills developed by the study of Literature, and any field in which imagination or writing skills are required would be especially interested in a well-qualified student of English Literature.

Course of Study

Year 1 Units 

  • Poetry and Prose
  • Drama

Year 2 Units

  • Shakespeare and other pre-20th century Texts 
  • 20th Century Writing

How is this course implemented?

Methods of learning include tutorials, lectures and seminars, the use of computer research, and theatre visits. Essay questions are discussed and studied, and the students are supported with essay planning and writing skills throughout the two years.

How is this course assessed?

Each paper is assessed by a two-hour examination and is equally weighted with 25% of the overall marks.


Contact Mrs. Victoria Marsh, Head of English for further information:  victoria.marsh@parkschool.com

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