GCSE English Literature

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

Why should I choose this subject

This course delves deeply into the ideas, themes and messages of a text. Here, pupils will have the opportunity to explore the psychologies of characters, the motives of authors and the social, political, historical and cultural contexts in which great pieces of literature were created. The aim is for pupils to understand the important role that literature plays in society, and how it encourages us to continue questioning and exploring what it means to be human.

What does the subject consist of?

Pupils will study a range of literary genres from the 16th to 21st century including poetry, plays (Shakespearean and modern), and a modern novel. Pupils will learn to write both concise and extended answers to thematic and character questions, in addition to honing their close analysis. Pupils will also study historical and biographical context and will practise applying this to the literary text to arrive at a deeper understanding of author intention and style.

How is the subject assessed?

The IGCSE in English Literature comprises 60% exam and 40% coursework.
The exam component includes examination on:

  • Unseen poetry
  • Anthology poetry
  • Modern prose

The written coursework component includes:

  • Analysis of a modern drama text
  • Analysis of a literary heritage text

Whom does the subject suit?

This subject suits all pupils who love reading, human stories, imaginary situations, time travel and a bit of human psychology.

What else should pupils consider before choosing this subject?

This subject is a great training ground for stretching pupils’ comprehension, analytical and evaluation skills a notch higher than average. Pupils need to be willing to embrace texts that contain subtleties and ambiguities, and that belong to very different time periods and cultural settings.