English

English

English

English

Our culture and history have been shaped by literature and language for hundreds of years. Through lessons, clinics, enrichment courses , support workshops and trips English students at Queen Mary’s College are shown how to read, analyse and write about this rich heritage.

Explore our courses;

English Literature

Course Summary

In this 2 year course, you will study 8 texts which will be a mixture of novels, plays and poetry. You will study works written over 600 years ago and those written within the last few years. You will read and discuss these texts, looking not only at how they were written and what they are about, but also how they reflect the time in which they were written, and how our view of them has changed over time as attitudes and values have changed.

Specific Entry Requirements

You will need at least a grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and grade 5 or above in English Literature. You will need to have a love of reading and a strong ability to express your ideas in writing.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

This course is all about communication – how writers communicate with us and how we communicate ideas about what we read, both in writing (essays) and orally through discussion. The expertise in communication that you will develop through this course is highly valued by employers for a wide range of jobs and careers. This is also an extremely useful skill for studying any subject at university, so universities value this A Level even if you are not going on to study for an English degree. English Literature is one of the 8 subjects on the Russell Group Universities’ list of ‘facilitating subjects’ (i.e. desirable subjects).

How is the course assessed?

For this course, you will take 2 exams at the end of 2 years which will account for 80% of the marks. These 2 exams will require you to write about 6 of the 8 texts you have studied. In each exam, you will also have to analyse some poetry and prose which you will not have seen before. The remaining 20% is assessed through one coursework essay in which you compare and contrast the remaining 2 texts.

What topics will I be studying?

(NB: These texts may be subject to change.)

  • Paper 1: Love Through The Ages.

Section A – Shakespeare: 1 question on OTHELLO. Closed Book.

Section B – Unseen Poetry: 1 question comparing and contrasting 2 unseen poems.

Section C – Comparing texts: 1 question comparing and contrasting THE GREAT GATSBY (novel, F Scott Fitzgerald) and an anthology of pre-1900 POETRY.) Open Book.

  • Paper 2: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day. You will study 3 texts: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (play, Tennessee Williams), THE HANDMAID’S TALE (novel, Margaret Atwood) and FEMININE GOSPELS (poetry, Carol Ann Duffy).

Section A – 1 question on one of the above texts (your choice). Open book.

Section B – 1 question comparing and contrasting the other two texts. Open book.

Section C – Analysis of an unseen prose extract in this section.

  • Paper 3: Independent Critical Study – Texts Across Time (Coursework).

Non-Examined Assessment: comparing and contrasting The PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (Novel, Oscar Wilde) and 1 other text which you choose from a list that we will give you. You will write 1 essay of 2500 words.

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

You will need your own copies of the texts we study but we will buy these for you and you pay for them as part of your course costs.

 

English Language

Course Summary

In this 2 year course you will study the way that language varies and changes. This will involve a good deal of reading of texts, research and data and analysis of them. You will study regional and social dialects of English, occupational language, language and gender, language and ethnicity, English throughout the world and language change. Attitudes to different varieties of language are also a key part of the course. You need to be curious, open-minded and willing to adopt new and very rigorous ways of studying and investigating the language you use every day. Please note that English Language is not a creative writing course.

Specific Entry Requirements

You will need at least a grade 5 in GCSE English Language to take this course.

Progression Skills and Opportunities

The expertise in communication that you will develop through this course is highly valued by employers for a wide range of jobs and careers. This is also an extremely useful skill for studying any subject at university, so universities value this A Level even if you are not going on to study for an English degree.

How is the course assessed?

For this course, you will take 2 exams at the end of 2 years which will account for 80% of the marks. These 2 exams will require you to analyse texts from different times and in different styles, write essays about language concepts and research, and engage with debates about language in the form of essays and articles. The other 20% is made up of two pieces of coursework (investigation 2,000 words, and writing with commentary, 1500 words) which you will start work on about half way through the course.

What topics will I be studying?

  • Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society

    • Section A – Textual Variations and representations – analysing and comparing texts from 1600 to the present day.

    • Section B – Children’s Language Development (0-11 years).

  • Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change

    • Section A – Language Diversity and Change – essay from a choice of two about language diversity or language change.

    • Section B – Language Discourses – analysis and evaluation of how two texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions about a language issue, followed by a directed writing task linked to the same language topic and to the ideas in the texts.

  • Paper 3: Language in Action (Coursework)

 Non-Examined Assessment – Language Investigation (2000 words) and Original Writing (750 words) with Commentary (750 words) and annotated style model. You will start this towards the end of your first year.

Will I need specialist materials or equipment?

You will need a number of course booklets but you contribute towards these as part of your course costs. Your tutor will recommend other books for study and revision but it is up to you whether you buy these or access them in the College Library.

 

Briony Merriman

At QMC my English teacher encouraged me to enter a poem for the Simon Powell Poetry Prize 2020. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the winners and received an invitation to an online poetry seminar which was an invaluable experience. Winning the prize helped encourage a love for poetry, both reading and writing it and this has been supported by my creative writing enrichment. – Aldworth School

ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES

CREATIVE WRITING

This enrichment course is an opportunity for people who write stories, poems, plays, TV scripts etc. to develop their skills and to learn more about the craft of writing. Students must be prepared to write in a variety of genres and to share their work with each other.

DEBATING SOCIETY

Although this is not strictly speaking an English enrichment, the ability to debate and form arguments is a very useful skill to learn. The debating society run in-house student-led debates and participation in Hampshire events.

FURTHER ENGLISH

This is an extension course to broaden your understanding of the canon of English Literature and to enable you to put your set texts in their literary and cultural context. You will look at a broad range of Literature written over the last ten centuries. There is no homework or formal assessment for this course but you will be expected to undertake additional reading.

READING GROUP

This is a monthly book group run by the Library. You will have the opportunity to read and discuss a range of books. This will improve your analytical skills and develop your ability to discuss texts.

 

Any questions?

Our Head of Department, Jason Yeomans will be happy to help.

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