English Literature

Course Title: English Literature
This is a subject which is now a ‘new style’ A level which means that the result of the AS exams does not contribute to the overall A level marks and grades. If a student drops the course after AS then this new type of the AS is worth 40% of the UCAS points of the full A level for University entry in 2017 and beyond.   If a student completes the A level course then it is only the assessment at the end of the second year that counts towards the full A level grade.


Examination Board and details  

AQA English Literature B

Course Structure: AS    









         Unit 1

         Unit 2



Students will study one of the following options:

  • Option A: Aspects of Tragedy
  • Option B: Aspects of Comedy


Students study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one further drama text, one poetry text and one prose text.


This will be taught as 2 units:


Literary Genres: Drama

Literary Genres: Prose and Poetry


Course Structure: A2    

         Unit 1










         Unit 2










         Unit 3


Literary Genres (studied in first year)

Students will study one of the following options:

Option 1A: Aspects of Tragedy

Option 1B: Aspects of Comedy


Students will study three texts: one Shakespeare text; a second drama text and one further text, of which one must be written pre-1900.



Texts and Genres (studied in second year)

Students will study one of the following options:

Option 2A: Elements of Crime Writing

Option 2B: Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing


Study of three texts: one post-2000 prose text; one poetry and one further text, one of which must be written pre-1900. The exam will include an unseen passage.



Non-exam Unit: Theory and independence (completed in second year)

Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical Anthology

You will write two essays of 1250 -1500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical Anthology.

One essay can be re-creative. The re-creative piece will be accompanied by a commentary.



How you will learn (investigations, course work etc.)



Through: presentations, independent research, group work, debates, discussions, essay writing, academic critical reading, coursework

Assessment Methods

                         At AS:






                                   At A2:



2 papers each, exam is 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Paper 1 is closed book, Paper 2 is open book
  • both are worth 50 marks
  • each paper amounts to 50% of AS level



Paper 1:

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • closed book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level


Paper 2:

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level


Non-exam Unit: Theory and independence

Two essays of 1250 -1500 words

  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • assessed by teachers
  • moderated by AQA


Entry Requirements: Higher tier entry at GCSE grade C


Skills you will need


·         Self motivation

·         A love for reading

·         Independent learning and self organisation

·         Problem solving

·         Reviewing and modifying

·         Critical analysis

  • Resilience
  • Be prepared to debate and discuss different interpretations
  • Develop the confidence to challenge assumptions


Careers Steps/Progression


English Literature will provide a broad basis for career paths such as:

Journalism, Politics, Media career, Law, Speech Therapy, Historian, Psychology, Foreign Languages, Teaching, TEFL





Victoria Clark (Fitzharrys)

Sophie Power (Larkmead)

Jenny Choudhury (John Mason School)


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