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English Literature

Course requirements 

English Language B and English Literature B equivalents.

Course description 

• AQA AS English Literature A 7711

• AQA A Level English Literature A 7712

“No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be” (Ishmael Reed) Do you agree with this opinion? Do you love reading? Do you enjoy vibrant discussions on the books you have read? English literature allows you to explore your love of books in an analytical, dynamic and discursive environment, studying texts that focus on the big questions which affect human existence. This A Level will allow you to experience a wide range of texts across the genres, from Shakespeare and the classics, to modern literature, drama and poetry. As a literature student you will develop an understanding of the relationships between texts and of the significance of cultural and contextual influences on readers and writers. You will learn to review and evaluate the diverse interpretations of a text and become confident about expressing your own independent judgement with flair. We will encourage you to develop your own voice and writing style, elevating your own language skills alongside your study of others.

The new specification encourages guided and independent study of a range of texts aimed at developing knowledge and appreciation of great Literature within shared contexts and across time. A variety of assessment styles are addressed and the course offers clear progression from GCSE. Both the AS and A Level courses provide strong stand-alone qualifications. We aim to offer the two year full A Level course, along with the one year AS course, depending on student numbers.

AS Components

The ‘Love Through The Ages’ focus includes the study of a Shakespeare Play and either a pre or post 1900 AQA anthology of Love Poetry, along with two comparative prose texts. Students will also study wider Love texts through time to learn the skills of analysing and evaluating unseen poetry.

A2 Components

1) ‘Love Through The Ages’– study of three set texts: one poetry and one prose, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare Play. Students will also study wider Love texts through time to learn the skills of analysing and evaluating unseen poetry

2) Texts in shared contexts focussed on either WW1 and its aftermath, or Literature from 1945 to present day. Students will study three set texts: one poetry, one play and one prose, of which one must be written post 2000 3) Independent critical study– comparative study of two texts, of which one is pre- 1900.


AS – 2 examinations of 1.5 hours each:

1) 2 questions, one Shakespeare, One Poetry

2) 2 questions, one comparing prose texts, one unseen poetry.

A Level: 2 examinations and one 2500 word essay.

1) 3 hour exam, 3 questions: a) Shakespeare, b) Unseen Poetry, c) Comparing texts. Open book in c) only.

2) 2 hours 30 mins examination Texts in Shared Contexts 2 questions: a) set text b) contextual linking unseen extract and set text

3) Independent critical study completing 2500 word essay with bibliography comparing two texts, one of which written pre 1900


English Literature is a Russell Group tier one subject for Humanities university study.