Lincoln Minster School

A-Level English Literature

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100% A*-B (2023)

Widely respected by universities, studying English Literature A-Level can be a valuable foundation for degree courses in almost any discipline or career path, which may be why it is such a popular choice of subject. Former English students go onto careers in publishing, marketing and communication, government and public services, law, higher education, financial services, education, and arts and heritage, to name but a few.

Most importantly, studying English will give you the opportunity to engage with seminal works of literature that have had a profound impact on readers through generations. Through engagement with a wide range of poetry, prose and drama you will think analytically, evaluatively and critically; learn to develop an argument and to express yourself fluently and eloquently, and work both independently and collaboratively.

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Course Content and Methodology

Many English Literature A-Level students are struck by the breadth of literature they encounter compared to GCSE study, from Shakespeare to post-war American drama and contemporary poetry. At the heart of this syllabus is a consideration of how literature both reflects and influences the age in which it is written.

Classes are exciting and collaborative, and led by subject specialists who have an intricate knowledge of the texts they teach. If you walk into an A-Level English lesson, you may see students listening intently to a lecture or they may be animatedly debating interpretations of a poem. Discussion is a regular part of lessons, and the smaller class sizes are similar to seminar groups at university.

We ensure that students see good productions of texts we are studying (or that are interesting and relevant) whenever possible. We are looking to expand the range of trips we offer in the coming years, including a potential international visit.

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Paper 1: Love through the Ages - 3 hours, 40 % of A-Level

This paper involves the study of one Shakespeare play, one poetry anthology and one prose text. Some of the texts that might be studied include Shakespeare’s Othello, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Ian McEwan’s Atonement. Students also prepare for an unseen comparison of two poems.

Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts - 2 Hours 30 minutes, 40% of A-Level

This paper involves the study of three texts: one prose, one poetry and one drama. Examples of texts that might be studied include Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Owen Sheers’ poetry collection Skirrid Hill. Students also prepare for a question on an unseen prose extract.

Non-Exam Assessment - (coursework) -20% of A-Level

Students produce a scholarly essay comparing two texts, informed by different interpretations and an understanding of contexts.

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Meet Our Alumni

Our students go on to many exciting destinations all over the world and work in a wide range of careers. Our alumni includes Netflix actors, olympians, racecar drivers, musicians, business leaders and much more. 

Course Requirements

Students of A-Level English Literature need to enjoy reading. To really engage with the ideas and texts studied, a Grade 6 in English Literature at GCSE level is desirable.

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Aspire Programme

The Aspire Programme is dedicated to providing exciting and challenging academic opportunities for our students.
These opportunities will be focused on extending knowledge and understanding, providing stimulating and demanding academic challenges, and, ultimately, inspiring students to apply for the most competitive courses at the most prestigious institutions. 


Our Sixth Form students have access to their own Common Room, Resources Centre and Silent Study Suite, where they socialise and relax, find books or speak to our Careers team, and complete their studies in peace (respectively).

As part of their studies, students may also have access to the dedicated art, photography and graphic design studio, purpose-built Recital Hall for musical performances, fully-equipped drama studio as well as indoor and outdoor sporting facilities.