If you’re interested in poetry or literature, our home study English literature course will allow you to pursue your passion while developing skills of analysis and critique. With a greater knowledge of literary techniques, form, vocabulary and imagery, you’ll find you’re better equipped to understand exactly what the author is trying to convey and get more out of what you’re reading. Having an English Literature GCSE is useful if you wish to study the subject at advanced level, and improves the analytical skills that are useful in many other subject areas. Full details of the course can be found below.
Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.
Are you intending to take your exams next summer? Please refer to our information on fast tracking and studying your course within one year.
This course is one of our new Gold Star GCSEs. Find out more about them here.
There are no formal entry requirements for this course, but it is strongly recommended that you have the ability to read and write English effectively.
Hours of study
As a guideline, you should allow for between 120 and 150 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 18 months from the date of enrolment.
Exams and assessment
- 2 hours 15 minutes, 50% of marks
- 1 hour 45 minutes, 50% of marks
Non-exam assessment (NEA):
All exams must be taken in the same session.
NEC's tutor-marked assignments:
- 1 introductory assignment
- 8 assignments
The following text is included free with your course and will be sent to you through the post:
- Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) English Literature Poetry Anthology, Pearson Education Limited 2014
- Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Penguin Classics 2003
- Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare, Arden Shakespeare edition 2008 or any other edition with numbered lines
- An Inspector Calls, J.B. Priestley, Heinemann 1992
Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:
- Windows 7 or later
- Mac OSX 10.7 or later
- Google Chrome OS
- Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
- iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser
- Google Chrome (latest version)
- Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
- Safari 6 or later
- Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)
learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.
How to enrol
How to enrol
There are several ways to enrol with NEC:
- Click the ‘Enrol now’ button above
- Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team
- Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.
How can you pay?
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.
Amount of credit:
Duration of agreement:
Rate of interest:
0% APR representative.
The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.
Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to www.dekopay.com/faq or visit www.dekopay.com.
Section 1: Introductory prose skills
- Reading and writing about a novel
Some features of a novel
Plot, narrative and structure
Setting and atmosphere
Language and style
Analysing a prose extract
Section 2: Frankenstein
- An introduction to Frankenstein
- Robert Walton's letters
- Volume One, Chapters I-IV
- Volume One, Chapters V-VIII
- Volume Two, Chapters I-IV
- Volume Two, Chapters VI-IX
- Volume Three, Chapters I-IV
- Volume Three, Chapters V and VI
- The conclusion
Section 3: Introductory poetry skills
- Reading poetry
- Content, poetic voice, tone and mood
- Rhyme, rhythm, structure and form
- Poetry in context
Section 4: Anthology poems
‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’
‘A Child to his Sick Grandfather’
‘She Walks in Beauty’
‘1st Date – She’ and ‘1st Date – He’
‘I wanna be yours’
Section 5: Introduction to drama
- Drama, stagecraft and staging
- Shakespeare and his time
- Elizabethan theatre
- Plot and structure
- Beginnings and endings
- Presenting characters
- Shakespeare's language
- The comedy genre
- Twelfth Night: an introduction
Section 6: Twelfth Night
Section 7: An Inspector Calls
Section 8: Unseen poetry
What our students say...
"I love English literature and was keen to study it for enjoyment purposes mainly, although still with the intention to further improve my GCSE results. I enjoyed the critical thinking aspect of the course, finding it thought-provoking; I also enjoyed the essay-writing, as I have found this useful to aid me with my Cambridge pre-university course."
— Jason Wadey