We can't wait to welcome you to Andover College! 

We have created this interactive page to give you a sense of what studying English Language & Literature at Andover College is like. Scroll down to explore Dystopian and Utopian visions of the future and have a go at the creative writing and artistic activities!

If you have any questions about the course or content please get in touch, email - AskHumanities@sparsholt.ac.uk

Be sure to look into the additional help and support we can provide through our experienced Careers and Health & Wellbeing teams. 

Meet your lecturers!

Welcome to the Course!

This subject combines the best parts of both Literature and Language, examining language and the written form through classic literacy texts, such as The Handmaid's Tale. Take a look at the presentation below for an introduction to the genre and your activities! 

Firstly, you should scroll down and take a look through the presentation your lecturer Susannah has created to introduce you to the genre and text. Following this have a look at the following resources (links in images) to learn more and explore the world of the Handmaidens.


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Did you know that before the critically acclaimed TV adaptation The Handmaid's Tale was created in film form! Have a look below and learn more about this forgotten adaptation. 

Task - watch and compare the theatrical trailer for the 1990 Film vs the 2017 TV adaptation - what differences can you notice - how has the medium of their performance affected the text. 

Why not try writing a review for The Handmaid's Tale - you can find lots of good inspiration online including various articles, such as the one below from The New York Times. 

Handmaids tale picture tv show.jpg


"In the spring of 1984 I began to write a novel that was not initially called “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I wrote in longhand, mostly on yellow legal notepads, then transcribed my almost illegible scrawling using a huge German-keyboard manual typewriter I’d rented." - Margaret Attwood 

Read this interesting article written by Margaret Attwood!

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Genre Conventions 

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English Language & Literature Presentation

English Language & Literature Genre Information

Additional Resources 

Eager to learn more? Take a look at these additional activities to keep your skills sharp over the summer! 

As creative writing is an integral part of the course, we have included the following activities for you to have a go at. 

1. Writing a dystopia. The world has fallen apart, nothing is as it was, society is in tatters and your character(s) are the only one(s) left.
Write 500-750 words about a character(s) in a dystopian world.

2. ‘Suddenly, there’s nothing left’. Write a character-focused piece exploring how things have changed for one person. It could be a bereavement, it could be moving to a new area, or becoming a new person, explore what this means to a character you create.
Write 500-750 words about a character for whom everything has changed.

Also, the Open University has a variety of free online courses available in an array of different subjects. Take a look at the catalogue to choose your course! Here. 

You might also wish to look into the EtonX programmes available, please note these are paid for courses that your current school may already have access to. They are not essential, please only engage with them if you have the means to.

Student wellbeing and support 

At Andover College we understand that starting college in these uncertain times can be daunting and we aim to make this process as simple as possible. 

We have a dedicated team that provide our students with any additional support they need including; 

  • Counselling 
  • Carer support 
  • Childcare support 
  • Confidential one-to-one services 

We also have at the college Romeo our therapy dog! Romeo is part of the continued effort from Andover College to consistently improve on and add to wellbeing provision for students. Romeo is based on campus with his owner throughout term.

Research has shown that students are significantly less stressed and anxious, and even have increased happiness and energy, immediately following spending time in a drop-in session with a dog present. 


Our Courses: 

A Level in English Language & Literature (2 Years) 

Explore our campus! 

Andover College Campus. 


Student Experience 

Former Andover College student Lauren explains her decision to take Law, English Literature & Language, Psychology and Business Studies, her experience at College, the support available and what she is up to now! 


Student Experience: Lauren

New Activity!

Read the opening to Orwell's '1984' making a list of all the dystopian genre conventions that are used. Use the poster on genre conventions you created in the last activities from this page. 

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Want to take it further? Try this activity:

Make a comparison of the opening paragraph from 1984 with the opening paragraph of The Handmaid's Tale using a Venn diagram. Put 1984 on one side and The Handmaid's Tale on the other side, conventions, plot points and links should go in the overlapping section.

Careers Guidance 

Our careers guidance aims to expand the horizons of all students enabling you to make informed career decisions in order to progress both during and after college. 

Carol is our dedicated Careers Advisor for Andover College! 

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We also have our Sun Progression Mentor Anna! 

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Anna works alongside the Southern Universities Network (SUN) to help students recognise the routes of progression available to them, and to continue their journey in education! 

We recently launched the new Careers Hub located in the College library so come and say hello to Carol and Anna! 

Social Media 

We love to post about all our students on our platforms including their achievements, trips and excellent work - take a look at some of the highlights below and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube! 

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Instagram - theatre students.jpg

Twitter - wellbeing.jpg

Ready for more... 

BBC Writers room is running a free online 'Introduction to Screenwriting' course in partnership with the University of East Anglia and Future Learn. 

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Open Events

Learn more about Andover College at our next Open Event!

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