English Literature A-Level

This is an exciting course designed for students who are interested in reading and discussing a wide range of poems, plays, prose, novels and short stories. At A Level students have an opportunity to broaden their understanding of genre and extend their independent reading still further.

This course is for you if you have ever had these thoughts:

  •  I enjoyed studying books, plays and poems for GCSE.

  •  I love reading.

  •  I enjoy discussing texts with other people who appreciate Literature.

  •  I find it fascinating to explore writers’ ideas about important issues.

  •  I enjoy close analysis to explore how a writer uses language and form.

  •  I would enjoy a subject which allows me to develop insight and strong communication skills.

  •  I am interested in exploring the influences which contribute to the writing of a text.


English A Level is designed to be studied over 2 years with examinations taken at the end of the course.

Entry requirements

For A- level English Literature a grade 6 is required at GCSE or a strong recommendation from the department.

Course Content
  • A Level English Literature

  • Students will study 8 texts: 3 texts for Paper 1, 3 texts for Paper 2 and 2 texts for 

  • Non-Exam Assessment (NEA).         


Paper 1  Literary Genres

  • There are 2 study options: Aspects of Tragedy or Aspects of Comedy.

  • For each of these options, students will  study 1 Shakespeare play, a second drama text and a further  prose, poetry or drama text.

Paper 2  Texts and Genres

  • There are 2 study options: Elements of Crime Writing or Elements of Political Writing.

  • For each of these options, students will study 1 post-2000 prose text, 1 poetry text and a further text. Students are also examined on an unseen text.


A Level Examinations

  • Paper 1 Literary Genres 75 marks (40% of total marks)  (2 hours 30 mins). Closed book.

  • Paper 2 Texts and Genres 75 marks (40% of total marks)  (3 hours ). Open book.

  • Non Exam Assessment: EA Theory and Independence (20% of total marks). Students produce 2 pieces of coursework, each on a different text: 1 poetry and 1 prose. Each text will be linked  to a critical theory from the AQA Critical Anthology. These texts cannot be chosen from any set text list. The word count for each piece is 1250-1500.

Future Prospects

You could take a degree in subjects such as English Literature, Law, Politics, Media, Drama, Theatre Studies, Journalism or Education.

This course will prepare you  for a future career in education, law, media, advertising, journalism and many more.

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Birchwood Community High School
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Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 7PT