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English Literature A Level

AS/A Level English Literature

Entry Requirements

To study this subject students need to have the equivalent of Grade B or higher at GCSE English Literature. It would be a mistake to assume that the study of English Literature at A level will be similar to what you have experienced at GCSE; the course is significantly more challenging and rewarding than the English Literature GCSE. Students will need to be prepared to read widely and independently, to engage critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts, to develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation and to explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others’ interpretations of them.


This qualification is linear. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all examinations in May/June in a single year. All assessments must be taken in the same series.

Paper 1: Love through the Ages

  • written examination: 3 hours

  • open book in Section C only

  • 75 marks

  • 40% of A level

Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts

  • written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • open book

  • 75 marks

  • 40% of A level

Non-examination Assessment: Texts across Time

  • 50 marks

  • 20% of A level

  • assessed by teachers

  • moderated by AQA

General Information about the Course

Students will learn and use a wide variety of transferable skills during the course. These include articulating informed, personal and creative responses to texts, mastering a coherent and accurate written expression, and showing a clear understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received. These skills are in demand by employers, universities and colleges.  English literature can be studied as a single subject in higher education or can be combined with a variety of other subjects.  

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