A-level English Literature

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You will have the opportunity to study all aspects of English, analysing literary texts including novels, plays and poems.

Study a wide range of literature from the 14th century to the present day including novels, plays and poems.  A-level English Literature develops your textual analysis and critical writing techniques, and increases your confidence in interpreting texts through group discussions and essay writing. It will appeal to you if you enjoy reading and exploring texts closely.

Our career pathways show you a typical route through the various stages of learning, what you will learn along the way and the careers these programmes could lead onto.

What I'll learn

You will be following the AQA specification A – The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature  

First year (AS)

  • Unit 1: Exam – Skirrid Hill (poetry) by Owen Sheers and a question based on guided wide reading of poetry, prose and drama related to the key topic above.
  • Unit 2: Coursework – The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle (novel), Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and Look Back in Anger by John Osborne (drama)  

Second year (A2)

  • Unit 3: Exam – two questions involving unprepared extracts and wider reading on the theme of Love Through The Ages
  • Unit 4: coursework – extended essay, comparing three texts, including a Shakespeare play



How I'll learn


You learn in a variety of ways, typically through discussion, group work, independent study, traditional essays, reading and research tasks. There is a balance between challenge and support. You play an active part in your learning and there is a strong focus on your individual learning needs.  

You will develop the skills necessary for further academic study, such as strong report writing, essay writing and study skills, including presentation skills. You also improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course, you will benefit from individual support, including clear advice about higher education and careers.

Classes take place over four days a week between 9am and 5pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled sessions. In addition, you have the opportunity to attend trips and visits according to the needs of individual subjects. There are many enrichment opportunities, enabling you to extend your learning beyond the bounds of your chosen subjects.  



How I'll be assessed

Formal assessment is through examinations. The examination periods are in May and June. A range of regular assignments, essays and class based assessments also help you to develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets


Entry Requirements

All A-level students must have six C (4) grades in academic subjects at GCSE, including English and maths, at grade 5 but excluding PE, dance, IT i.e. subjects with a large practical component.

For this subject, you will need GCSE English literature or GCSE English language at grade 5.

With 3 A-levels, the possibilities are endless. You can progress to higher education to study a variety of different subjects at degree level. A-levels also offer a high standard of education which many employers require as part of their entry criteria onto training programmes. An A-level in English literature will allow you access to university to study a broad range of humanities subjects, since the analytical and conceptual skills that you will acquire are transferable. English is a subject that is valued by universities.




How to Apply

You can apply for this programme online. Simply follow the link to ‘apply now’ on your chosen programme page.

You will then be asked to register or log in to progress with your application.

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs.)

Printed application forms are also available.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.