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English Literature

The study of A Level English Literature will focus on reading and analysing texts within a shared context. You will be encouraged to explore the relationships between various texts and the specific contexts within which they are written, received and understood. Studying these poetry, prose and drama works enables you to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives.

Subject content

The first topic area, Love through the Ages, leads to an exam on poetry, prose and Shakespeare set texts as well as unseen items. The Texts in Shared Contexts topic area gives you the opportunity to explore aspects of literature connected through a period of time. Again the exam here includes set texts of all three genres as well as unseen material.

Please click on the link below to view AQA course specifications;

English Literature on AQA

Assessment

This subject will be assessed by external examination and coursework (a 2,500 word independent critical study based on a thematic comparison of two texts across time).

Progression opportunities

An A Level in English Literature is highly regarded by universities and so provides a pathway to a wide range of degree programmes. Research shows there are a huge variety of jobs on offer for those with an academic background in English Literature. Career options could include copywriting, public relations, journalism, animation, teaching, design and TV production.

Meet the A Level expert

Graeme Stables

After studying a BA (Hons) degree in English Studies, Graeme completed an MA in Contemporary Writers and a PGCE. He has 24 years’ teaching experience.

Graeme said: “A Level English Literature students will gain valuable skills in research, analysis using the appropriate terminology, structured arguments, speaking and listening in debate, accurate writing, critical thinking and a knowledge and understanding of a variety of literary texts in their historical and cultural contexts.”

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