English literature

A Level English Literature builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding established at GCSE. It is a rigorous and demanding course which develops your analytical technique. To be successful at English Literature you have to enjoy reading both widely and independently. The course explores reading processes in an interesting and enriching way. We offer English Literature Specification A (AQA) which is a linear course with three units.

English Literature A Level opens your eyes to different styles and genres; the teachers really challenge you to question your opinions and look deep within a given text to find meaning and answers. 

Isabelle Easton, Year 13

Entry Requirements

Students must have achieved a minimum of Grade 5 or above in both English Language and Mathematics and Grade 5 (equivalent) in at least 3 other GCSE/Level 2 qualifications. English Literature GCSE at Grade 5 or above is also required. Other related GCSE/Level 2 subjects may be considered. Guidance on acceptable related subjects can be provided by the Sixth Form Leadership Team.

Course Overview

On this Course You Will Study

Three texts are studied for Unit 1, including pre-1900 prose or poetry and one Shakespeare play. Candidates will be required to consider the presentation of love through the ages.

Unit 2 relates to modern times and looks at literature from 1945 to the present day. Students study three texts: one prose, one poetry and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000.

Unit 3 is a non-exam assessment that is a comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900. Students will complete one extended essay of 2500 words. This unit lays emphasis on independent reading, as students can select some of their own texts for study.

Paper 1- written exam 40%
Paper 2- written exam 40%
Coursework- 20%

Progression & Careers

English Literature A Level is a highly regarded subject by universities and businesses alike. It is a subject that empowers an individual in such fields as:

  • Law;
  • Media;
  • Publishing;
  • Journalism;
  • Teaching;
  • Advertising;
  • Public Relations;
  • Virtually all public sector positions.

Where can I find out more?

Point of contact:

Hannah Le Couilliard

Team Leader and Teacher of English

Contact Hannah Le Couilliard who looks after this English literature course on:

English Language