Glastonbury Festival 2010
British rapper Dizzee Rascal performs at Glastonbury 2010. His next gig: 2015 A Level English Reuters

The new English A Level texts for all UK sixth-formers have been approved – and they are a far cry from Of Mice and Men and The Tempest.

Ofqual has given the go-ahead for the revised list of study texts, which will be taught in all schools and colleges from September next year.

They include Russell Brand's evidence on drugs policy which was presented to the House of Commons, pieces by The Secret Footballer (who has written anonymously about professional football) and the transcript of a BBC Newsnight interview with Dizzee Rascal.

The curriculum will also feature more traditional texts including poems by Emily Dickinson and William Blake and works by Orwell, Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte.

Tweets by broadcaster and columnist Caitlin Moran are also on the reading list for next year's sixth-formers, as are memoirs such as Twelve Years A Slave.

When the draft content of the A Level English course was published earlier this year there were reports that the Department for Education (DfE), then headed by Michael Gove, was critical of the qualification, suggesting it represented a "dumbing down" of the subject.

However, the OCR exam board has stood by the changes. Paul Dodd, OCR director of reform, said on Thursday: "We are delighted that Ofqual has accredited this fresh and exciting new specification.

"Both OCR and EMC believe that combined English Language and Literature offers something special. Our aim in creating the specification was to produce a course with a rich, diverse mix of content - including highly regarded contemporary texts as well as long-established works - that will inspire and engage a new generation of students."

A DfE spokesman said: "The criteria for English language and literature clearly set out the expectations exam boards must meet, in order to be approved.

"Decisions on whether these criteria have been met are rightly a matter for Ofqual."

The English course is one of a number of new A-levels due to be brought in next year following the Government's major overhaul of the exams system.