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English Literature A Level (Year 1)
Study Mode
Full Time 
Exams and Coursework 
Course Code:
Entry Requirements
5 GCSEs at A* - C. Must include English Language, Mathematics and English Literature (if taken). Attendance at an A Level information event.

English Literature A Level (Year 1)

The study of Literature aims to give you the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the study of different forms of literature by encouraging, through close analysis and discussion, a deeper awareness and understanding of a variety of texts.

About the Course

You will look at the way writers shape meaning through form, structure and language and how texts relate to their historical and social contexts. The course develops learners’ powers of analysis and reading and writing skills stimulating personal response and engagement with texts.

Key Units

The core content of the course includes Love through the Age, Texts in Shared Contexts and Independent Critical Study. Options include WW1 and its Aftermath or Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day.

During the second year you will complete a piece of coursework: A comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900. This comprises one extended essay and a bibliography.

The important study skills needed for this course are literacy; reading and writing. The key intellectual skills are an enquiring mind and a willingness to engage in literary debate.

Disclaimer: Please note the examination board’s syllabus was in draft form at time of writing and may be subject to change. Please see updates on the AQA website.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at A* - C. Must include English Language, Mathematics and English Literature (if taken). Attendance at an A Level information event.


Assessment is through examination and Independent Critical Study. Students are examined in Love through the Ages and a study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama text.

Where does this Lead

English can be studied at university as a stand-alone subject or as part of a joint honours degree. It also provides learners with useful skills that may be applied to other areas.

The study of English not only develops your reading, writing and analytical ability, but it also enables the development of integral skills such as communication, problem solving and team building that you will find applicable for higher education, employment and the wider community.

Tell Me More

Will this subject suit me?
The ideal student would enjoy reading all types of prose; novels, plays, and poetry. You would enjoy discussing meanings in literature and be able to write coherently.

You will enjoy this course if you have an enquiring mind, enjoy reading and want to learn more about how great works of literature convey their ideas. If you are a creative person you will especially enjoy writing inspired by your reading.

Personal study time:
A Level students are expected to devote as much time outside the classroom to their studies as in lessons. Homework will be set regularly but students are expected to undertake self- directed research as well. Students will receive effective feedback, guidance and help from their tutors.