English Literature

Head of Department: Mrs A Gorman
Exam board: CIE
Qualification name: Literature in English
Qualification codes: Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject 9765

What you will study
Lower Sixth
Component 1: Poetry and Prose
Component 2: Drama
Students study a prose text and an anthology of poetry. They also learn to tackle an unseen text involving comment and analysis. This includes one text written pre-1900.
Upper Sixth
Component 3: Comment and Analysis
Component 4: Personal Investigation
Students study two drama texts and complete an investigation of 3,000-3,500 words covering texts they choose themselves. They are required to read and analyse four texts to complete this task.

How you will be assessed
Component 1: One two-hour written paper (25% of IAL)
Essay questions.
Component 2: One two-hour written paper (25% of IAL)
Essay questions.
Component 3: One two-hour-and-15-minute written paper (25% of IAL)
Essay questions, responding to unseen texts.
Component 4: Personal Investigation (25% of IAL)
Externally marked project.

Why choose English Literature?
The Literature in English Cambridge Pre-U course offers opportunities to explore texts from Chaucer to the present day. The syllabus encourages literary debate, promotes wider reading and develops skills in responding to a writer’s use of language, form and style. The course emphasises breadth as well as depth, covering key areas of the canon whilst allowing students to develop their own interests in a personal investigation. Assessment covers at least eight texts of poetry, drama and prose and includes Shakespeare and writing pre- and post-1900. The Cambridge Pre-U is considered an excellent preparation for university and employment.

Course requirements
It is recommended that students have attained literacy skills at a level equivalent to grade C in GCSE English Language.

Related subjects at Sixth Form
Subjects that related well to literature include History, English Language, Ethics and Philosophy, Politics, Psychology and Modern Languages.

Where could this lead?
English graduates develop a wide range of skills that are valuable to employers including how to argue a point, how to think independently, to summarise, to write and speak well, to present information effectively and to work as part of a team. Career opportunities for those studying literature are wide-ranging and include: writing, journalism, broadcasting, personnel management, teaching, social work, copywriting, marketing and advertising.

Further important information
The English Department supports the study of literature by inviting authors into school to share with students their experiences of writing. Students are also encouraged to read as widely as possible outside the classroom in support of their studies.

I remember very precisely a class with Alan Wilkinson in the late 70s, reading a short passage of Milton’s Comus, when I first wondered exactly how poetry works. The English masters at Barney really have shaped my whole academic career. Richard Parkinson, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford