Exam Board: AQA    Duration: 2 years    Entry Requirements: 5 GCSEs at Grades 9-4, Grade 6 in GCSE English Language and Grade 6 in GCSE English Literature.

Reasons to study A Leven English Literature


Academic rigour and enthusiasm. We offer an academically rigorous and exciting course in which we analyse and evaluate authors’ intentions, whilst exploring contemporary and historical issues.

Become well-read. From Shakespeare to contemporary writers, you will explore fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry.

Highly prized skills. You will gain high-level analytical skills.

Choice and independence. You can choose your own text for the non-exam assessment component.

Preparation for university. You will learn a range of engaging critical approaches – such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, eco-critical, post-colonial, and feminism – through which to analyse texts, which prepares you for university study.

Preparation for exciting professional careers. The English Literature A level course provides a strong foundation on which to undertake a wide range of degree subjects – from Law to Psychology and beyond.

Course Outline


Paper 1 Literary Genres:
Students study three texts: one Shakespeare play, a second drama text and one further text.

In addition to the compulsory Shakespeare play, one of the other two texts must be written pre-1900. This is a closed book exam.

Paper 2 Texts and Genres:
Students study three texts: one post-2000 prose text, one poetry and one further text, one of which must be written pre-1900. They also respond to an unseen passage in the exam.

The paper for this component is open book. Students may take a copy of their set texts into the exam.
These texts must not be annotated
Option 2A: Elements of crime writing or
Option 2B: Elements of political and social protest writing

The examination requires students to answer an essay style question on an unseen passage and complete a comparative task.

Non-exam Assessment Theory and Independence:
Students work independently in their study of two literary texts (one poetry and one prose). Texts must be linked to the AQA Critical Anthology, which includes Feminism, Marxism, Eco-critical and Post-Colonial theories

Two essays of 1250-1500 words. One response can be re-creative (e.g. an internal monologue for a minor character in a prose text).

Assessment Outline


Two written examination papers taken at the end of year 13 and a piece of non-examined assessment.

Paper 1 Literary Genres: 75 marks written exam
(3 hours) and is worth 40% of the A Level

Paper 2 Texts and Genres: 75 marks written exam
(2 hours 30 minutes) and is worth 40% of the A Level

Non-Examined Assessment Theory and Independence: Two written pieces, including at least one essay and a re-creative piece inspired by a literary work.
Together these are worth 20% of the A Level.

Progression Routes and Career Paths


English Literature is a highly respected A level, which
is welcomed or recommended when embarking upon study in a range of subjects due to the academic rigour and communication skills that students develop.

  • Author
  • Editor
  • Publisher
  • Journalist
  • Literary Agent
  • Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Copywriter
  • Communications Officer
  • Researcher
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Proofreader
  • Archivist
  • Scriptwriter

The Romero’s English Department


Join a department that prides itself on creativity and high academic standards, with GCSE results in the top 2% of the country.

Work with a range of professionals who will challenge and inspire you.

Explore our rich literary heritage and enjoy frequent debate within our sessions.

A wide range of extracurricular opportunities: frequent theatre trips to see performances of core texts; a day at The British Library and The Globe, London; University conference days and library visits; visiting authors and theatre companies; literary heritage trips (e.g. the Lake District); creative writing magazine

Further Information


For more information or if you have any questions about the A Level English course please contact:

Ms B Norman – Subject Leader for English [email protected]