English Literature

At a glance

Awarding Board: AQA
Entry Requirements: Six GCSE grades 9-4 including English Language and Mathematics
Subject Specific: GCSE English Language grade 6


Coursework plus one 2.5 hour and one 3 hour examination at the end of Year 13
Coursework (20%)
Paper 1 (40%)
Paper 2 (40%)

Why choose A Level English Literature?

If you have a love of reading and enjoy exploring different interpretations of literature. If you enjoy working independently and have a keenness for learning something new. If you enjoyed studying the literature texts at GCSE and believe that meanings are not fixed, interpretation is not fixed, and multiple interpretations are possible, then English Literature is the perfect A Level for you! You will build
on the skills and knowledge already gained at GCSE and prepare for the next steps in exploring literature in a critical and analytical way.

What will you study?

You will have the opportunity to study a wide variety of genres and authors. English Literature at A Level encourages you to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood.

You will examine a Shakespearean play not previously studied, poetry, plays and 21st Century modern fiction too.

How will you study?

An A Level English class will typically have 10-15 pupils. The structure of lessons will be very similar to GCSE English lessons. Lessons will begin with retrieval questions, consolidating key concepts and knowledge required for the lesson. This is then followed by teacher led introduction of new concepts, consolidation activities and reflective independent work.

A significant proportion of the A Level course, 20% of your overall grade, is non-examination assessment (coursework), this will give you the opportunity to write creatively and to carry out an investigation into an aspect of the course that you have a particularly keen interest in. In an extended essay (2500 words) you will make a comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900.

The title ‘Independent critical study’ highlights the important idea that, within the literature course, you should have the opportunity to work independently.

Where will it take me?

An A Level in English Literature can lead to the study of English Literature, English Language, History, Psychology, Law or Media Studies at degree level.

English degree graduates are often found where strong communication and written English skills are top priorities; for example, within the worlds of media and publishing. The widespread demand for good communication skills means English literature degrees offer lots of potential career paths.

Possible career options include: Journalist, English Teacher, Freelance Writer, Editorial Assistant, Interpreter, Social Media Manager, Copy Editor, Paralegal, Advertising Manager, Lexicographer or TV Producer.


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