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An award winning sixth-form college in the heart of Central London offering a wide range of GCSE and A-Level courses

The quality of the curriculum, teaching and learners' achievements is excellent

T (+44) 20 7409 7273
Albemarle Independent College, 18 Dunraven Street, Mayfair, London W1K 7FE
Albemarle Independent Private College in Central London


AS Course Outline

Who Should Study English Literature?

English Literature AS Level - A Streetcar Named Desire

If you want to study English at AS, you must enjoy reading books and writing essays. English Literature at AS has a depth and scope that is far beyond GCSE. This can be very challenging, but is also very rewarding for those who are prepared to work hard. You will study a selection of classic and contemporary prose, poetry and drama texts. English Literature works very well with almost any other subject, and particularly History, Philosophy, Religious Studies and languages.

What does the course aim to do?

English A-level courses aim to develop your ability to interpret and write about literary texts. For the Edexcel AS course, you will study four texts: one play, two prose texts, and a collection of contemporary poetry. All four of these texts are re-examined as part of the English Literature A-level.

What skills will you develop?

English Literature helps you to build a wide range of skills. For a start, you will develop your ability as an independent reader and thinker. You will be doing a lot of writing, so you should expect to develop your ability to write articulately and to assemble complex arguments. These are invaluable skills for every university course, and indeed for many careers.

What will you find challenging about the course?

It is easy to underestimate the sheer volume of reading required for this course. In addition, you will be expected to think in a lot of depth about the texts that you are studying. You will need to consider contextual issues and respond to critical views. You will be expected to write long and detailed essays. Making the transition from GCSE to AS can be challenging for many students.


Course Content

In year 12, students study four of the eight A-level texts. You will read two novels, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. We also look at a selection of contemporary poetry from Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of Poetry 2002-2011. Finally, you will study the play A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams.

Structure of the Course

You will have five one-hour lessons per week.
Homework will be set weekly and deadlines must be adhered to.

Introductory reading
David Lodge, The Art of Fiction; James Wood, How Fiction Works; Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled

Course texts
Poems of the Decade; Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire; Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles; Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

Suggestions for Further Reading

Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes
Austen, Pride & Prejudice
Auster, The New York Trilogy
Bronte, C, Jane Eyre
Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Camus, The Outsider
Carter, The Bloody Chamber
Coetzee, Disgrace
Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Conrad, The Secret Agent
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Great Expectations
Donne, Songs and Sonnets
Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
Eliot, G, The Mill on the Floss
Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
Fowles, The Magus
Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Golding, The Inheritors
Greene, Brighton Rock
Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Hartley, The Go-Between
Heaney, Selected poems
Heller, J, Catch-22
Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
Huxley, Brave New World
Ishiguro, Remains of the Day
James, The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, Dubliners
Kafka, Metamorphosis
Kerouac, On the Road
Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Levi, The Periodic Table
Mann, Buddenbrooks
McCarthy, The Road
Melville, Moby Dick
Morrison, Beloved
Nabokov, Lolita
Orwell, 1984
Plath, Ariel
Poe, Short stories
Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
Sartre, Nausea
Shelley, Frankenstein
Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Tartt, The Secret History
Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Zamyatin, We
Zola, Therese Raquin