English Language

English Literature

The study of a range of literary texts. Some of these are 21st Century, others date back hundreds of years.

Why study English Literature?

If you’re fascinated by the power of literature, then this course has so much to offer. You’ll study some great books and get the chance to explore them with other students who share your passion. You’ll study texts from a range of different periods and genres and get a real sense of how English Literature has developed over time.

What will I study?

The texts we currently study are A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, Poetry by Philip Larkin and Carol Ann Duffy and The Tempest by Shakespeare. You’ll also study a whole range of poetry from any period, together with short extracts from prose texts of the late 19th/early 20th Century. For coursework, you’ll study either Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte or Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, together with a more recent text which you can choose yourself.

Which exam board & how will I be assessed?


There are three exams worth 80% of the overall grade. Your coursework will be worth 20%. One exam is ‘open book’, the other closed. One exam is ‘unseen’ - so you’ll develop the skills to analyse any text and poem.

Where could it take me?

By studying English Literature, you can apply for any English based degree at any University. Students also apply for journalism, creative writing, marketing and teaching using their English A-level as a starting point. Our students go onto careers in teaching, publishing, HR, journalism, theatre management and advertising. But we also have former students of the department who are doctors, dentists and vets!

Subject combinations

Students frequently combine English with History, Modern Foreign Languages, Law, Psychology, Sociology, Business Studies, Economics, Theatre, Media Studies and all Art courses. But we’ve had many students who have success fully combined English with science A-levels or Maths. The ability to communicate well in speech or writing is central to so many professions - it’s hard to see where English can’t take you!

What support is available?

One to one support is always available. We run revision sessions at lunchtime in the months leading up to exams. Our revision planners will help you organise yourself by giving you specific weekly tasks to target. We have a wide range of resources on paper and online to support your learning and help you manage note-making, new terminology and reading.

What extracurricular activity is available?

We run regular trips to theatres locally and further afield. We’ve visited the British Library and the British Museum in London. We love visiting the birthplace of the Bronte sisters in Howarth, Yorkshire and the Slavery museum in Liverpool. We also encourage Creative Writing through a programme of writing workshops with a range of professional writers. We have a departmental magazine which students write and edit themselves.

Did you know?

In 2019, the high-grade rate (A*-B) in English Literature at Winstanley College was 76%. The national average is 52%!