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English Literature

Subject Area: English
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: AQA
Syllabus No: Specification A

What do I need to study this course?

Grade 6 or above in GCSE English Language. It is preferable that you have at least a grade 6 in GCSE English Literature.


What will I study?

English Literature offers you the opportunity to explore a wide variety of texts, from modern pieces by new and innovative authors to writers such as Shakespeare and Chaucer. You will be encouraged to develop your own opinions of texts and shown how to search literature for evidence to support your ideas. We will also help you to develop your writing styles and essay techniques. Participation in group work and presentations is also an important part of the course.


You will be studying Love Through the Ages from Chaucer to the present day, considering the arc of time and assessing the typicality of the writing according to its time of composition. This study will include one Shakespeare play, pre-19th century poetry and the comparative analysis of unseen poetry. This unit is assessed through examination.

You will also explore Texts in Shared Contexts. The focus for this examination is modern times (post 1945). This study will include one poetry text, one prose text and one drama text. This unit is also assessed through examination.

You will also undertake the Non-Examined Assessment (NEA). This will take the form of an independent critical study of texts across time. This will require you to study two texts, at least one of which must have been written before 1900. This will comprise one extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography.

What next?

English is a valuable ‘all purpose’ subject, leading to many HE courses and future careers in a variety of areas including law, science and medicine. If you wish to study for a degree in English, this course is essential.