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English Literature A Level


TITLE: AQA Level 3 Advanced GCE in English Literature A (601/5327/1)


This is a reader’s course! It will give students the opportunity to read, study and respond to a wide range of literature: novels, short-stories, drama texts and poetry. These will be drawn from a wide range of English Literature texts: from medieval poetry to the modern novel. The aim will be to allow students to develop an understanding of a wide range of texts from within and outside the literary canon and also from other cultures and time periods. The coursework unit will allow students to explore their own choice of literary texts pursuing their own area of focus following students’ own reading interests.

The staff’s approach will aim to stimulate creativity and thought through group discussions, small group work, whole class teaching and individual tuition to allow students to develop an analytical and sensitive response that is rooted in a detailed reading of the text.


Three Units: two by examination and one by coursework.

Unit 1: Love Through the Ages (Examination: 3 hours)
  • Section A: Shakespeare – one play text
  • Section B: Unseen Poetry – AQA Poetry Anthology
  • Section C: Comparing Texts – comparison of two texts (poetry and prose)
Unit 2: Texts in Shared Contexts: Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the present day (Examination: 2 hours 30 mins)
  • Section A: Set Texts – one prose text
  • Section B: Contextual Linking – one poetry text and one drama text
Non-Examined Assessment Unit: Independent Critical Study (Coursework)
  • Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have written pre-1900.


Wide reading of any literature will support this course.


The major strength of an English student is their ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Students develop skills in critical reasoning and analysis, as well as negotiation, discussion and independent thinking. Studying English can lead to a wide choice of careers and related degree courses. English graduates find opportunities with many different employers in both the public and private sectors, such as: creative writing, publishing, journalism, education, local and national government, financial and legal firms, and voluntary and charitable organisations