A Level English Literature

Examination Board: AQA

Why study A Level English Literature?
A Level English Literature is an exciting course which offers students the opportunity to develop further the creative and analytical skills they used in GCSE English. At A Level students study a range of six class-taught set texts and a pair of comparative coursework texts which they choose for themselves, in consultation with their teachers. English Literature offers a stimulating and exciting range of novels, plays and poetry and includes the opportunity to study texts independently.

What other subjects complement English Literature?
English works well in combination with most Arts subjects, but Performance is especially useful (as it will inform your study of theatrical texts in English Literature) and so is History (as Historical Context is one of the English Literature course’s key Assessment Objectives). Extra activities such as Wider Reading will not just complement your study of English Literature, but will become an integral part of it…while appropriate visits to the theatre, the cinema and relevant museums and galleries will also help you in your studies.

Where can this subject lead?
This English specification is highly respected by universities, as the course’s methods of delivery are very similar to those used with undergraduate students, so it is an ideal qualification for any student hoping to pursue a degree course – not just in English, but in any Arts subject. Teaching and journalism are the most common careers where an English Literature A level qualification can be of benefit but, whatever your chosen path, this subject can be your passport to the future.

How will I be assessed?
During the two years of the AQA English Literature A Level course you will study eight texts: your knowledge and understanding of these texts will be assessed through two examinations at the end of Year 13 and a coursework unit.

The first examination, Love through the Ages, is 3 hours long, featuring questions on Shakespeare, two other set texts and unseen poetry. The second examination, Texts in Shared Contexts, is 2 hours 30 minutes long, featuring questions on a novel, a play and a poetry collection – all written since 1900. Each examination counts for 40% of your final A Level grade. Students also complete a coursework study of 2500 words, comparing two texts of their own choice, one of which must be pre-1900. This coursework unit is worth 20% of your final A Level grade.