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Greenshaw High School

English Literature

What is the course about?

For this course, students study a variety of genres from a range of historical periods. These include: BramStoker’s Dracula, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Selected Poems of Christina Rossetti; as well as works by contemporary writers. Whilst some texts are prescribed, there is an opportunity for students to explore less well-known texts.

Course content

  • Study of a selection of poetry and a play.
  • Study of two Gothic novels. Wider reading within the Gothic genre.
  • Study of a Shakespeare text.
  • Detailed study of linked drama, prose and poetry text.


  • Coursework: a folder totalling 3000 words. This includes one recreational piece with analysis, based on a play called Jerusalem, and a comparative essay on modern texts, using Wide Sargasso Sea and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (20%).
  • Two examinations:
    – Paper 1: Shakespeare and Drama and Poetry pre 1900: (40%)
    – Paper 2: Comparative and Contextual study in The Gothic: (40%
    Both exams are 2 hours 30 minutes.

Career pathways

It is a highly regarded academic qualification. It could lead to careers in media, law, industry, commerce, the civil service, personnel management, education – in fact any job requiring analytical or communication skills.

Entry criteria

Minimum of grade 6 in both GCSE English Language and English Literature.