English Literature


What is the A Level in English Literature and why should I study it?

The new AQA A Level in English Literature offers clear progression from GCSE and over the two years of study, at our sister site, Olympic Legacy Park (if viable), allows you to build on the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained. You will explore the different ways of reading and the connections which exist between texts. The course will further develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research all invaluable skills which will equip you for further study and future employment.

Qualification Type

GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent

Qualification Level

Level 3


Literary genres:

Students will study three set texts within a specific literary genre: aspects of tragedy, so that they can gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected and how they can be interpreted in multiple ways so that they can arrive at their own interpretations and become confident autonomous readers.

At the core of the texts you will study, there is a tragic hero or heroine who is flawed in some way, who suffers and causes suffering to others. In all of the texts studied, there is an interplay between what might be seen as villains and victims. You will discover that some tragic features are more in evidence in some texts than in others and understand how particular aspects of the tragic genre are used and how they work in the set texts you will study.

Texts and Genres:

Students will study three set texts grouped together as having elements of the more modern genre crime writing. In all of the texts studied, a significant crime drives the narrative and the execution and consequences of the crime are fundamentally important to the way in which the text is structured. Thus all of the texts focus on transgressions against established order and the specific breaking of either national, social, religious or moral laws.

Theory and independence:

This component of the course is designed to allow students to read more widely while learning to apply critical theories and ideas to their reading. Students will write about two texts – one poetry and the other prose, exploring their chosen texts in light of some of the critical ideas from the AQA critical anthology. There is an opportunity for one of the written pieces to be a re-creative piece with a commentary.

How will it be delivered?


The A Level qualification is made up of the following components:

Examination: Paper 1 – Literary Genres  40% of A Level

Examination: Paper 2 – Texts and Genres  40% of A level

Coursework: Theory and Independence  20%

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in GCSE English Language and English Literature.

Students must select a technical specialism alongside this course.