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Lutterworth College

A Level English Literature

Course Title: English Literature

Course Type: A Level (Linear)

Exam Board: AQA

Course Contact: Mike Smith (m.smith@lutterworthcollege.com)

What will I study?

How are men and women treated differently in literary texts?  Does our social status affect the way in which we interpret texts?  Does racial identity have an impact on our understanding of literature?  These are just some of the questions you’ll get to explore if you take A Level English Literature.

In A Level English Literature, you will be introduced to a range of genres of text and will develop analytical skills when exploring language, structure and form.  You’ll also examine the impact of context on the language of texts.  You will learn how to structure ideas into a coherent argument in the form of a polemic essay.

In your first year you will study a range of texts (William Shakespeare’s Othello, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby alongside an anthology of poetry) which explore love through the ages in preparation for the exams at the end of the second year.

In the second year, you are given the freedom to explore a range of prose texts, one of which must have been written pre-1900. You will work with your teacher to devise a question in an area that particularly interests you and will produce one essay for coursework.

After this, we will look at texts in the shared context of modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day in preparation for the exams at the end of the second year.

The assessment comprises three papers:

Paper 1:

Study of three texts: one Shakespeare text; a second prose text and a collection of pre 1900 poetry, and an unseen poetry comparative task.

What's Assessed?

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • closed book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level


Section A: one passage-based question on set Shakespeare text (25 marks)

Section B: one essay question comparing a prose text with a collection of poetry  (25 marks)

Section C: one essay question linking two love through the ages poetry texts (25 marks)

Paper 2:

Study of three texts: one prose text; one poetry and one drama text, one of which must be written post-2000.

Examination will include an unseen passage.

What's Assessed?

  • written exam: 3 hours
  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A-level


choose eitherOption 1 or Option 2 or Option 3. Answer one question from Section A and both questions from Section B from your chosen option. You must answer questions from only one option.

Paper 3 - NEA (coursework):

What's assessed?

Your NEA accounts for 20% of your final A Level mark and requires you to write a comparative critical study of two texts – by two different authors, on a theme of your choice, using a question devised by yourself.

  • In Texts across time, students write a 2500 comparative critical study of two texts.
  • one text must have been written pre-1900
  • two different authors must be studied


  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • assessed by teachers
  • moderated by AQA

Where will this course take me?

English Literature is one of the Russell Group ‘facilitating subjects’, and is therefore a sensible option for students intending to continue on to study at one of the UK’s most respected universities.

There are very few careers which wouldn’t benefit from an A Level in English Literature, and this is a fact that is recognized by universities.  It’s an extremely well-regarded A Level, and it would be useful for anyone considering a career in law, journalism, politics, marketing, acting, teaching – the list goes on.

Entry requirements:

A grade 5 in both English Language and English Literature GCSE.  Successful students of English Literature: actively read a wide range of fiction texts; are prepared to undertake wider reading around the topics within texts; can write well, as this subject is assessed totally by writing; are open to different interpretations of texts; are willing to work with others and enjoy discussion; are independent thinkers; have a strong work ethic; are good at meeting deadlines; and have good organisational skills.