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English Literature: A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements: Grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and English Literature.


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An exploration of great literature

The study of great literature is nothing less than entering into a conversation with the finest minds in human history! If you enjoy reading and like discussing big ideas and the ways they are presented by great authors, then this is the course for you.

Over the two years we will look at classic drama, poetry and prose fiction. As well as studying texts closely with your teachers in class, students will have the opportunity to encounter extracts and whole texts independently and in variety of creative and stimulating ways.

We have been teaching A-level subjects in English since their introduction and have a very experienced and successful team of subject experts. In 2019 81% of our students achieved A*, A or B grades.


The course

We follow the AQA Literature B course and select the Tragedy and Elements of Social and Political Protest units. Taught texts include King Lear, Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Great Gatsby and Harvest.

There is also a non-examined component (coursework) worth 20% in which students write two critical essays on texts of their choice. This area of the course provides a challenging and wide-ranging opportunity for an introduction to different ways of reading texts and for independent study.


Beyond the classroom

Past activities have included:

  • A debating club.
  • Public speaking competitions.
  • Trips to the theatre and cinema.
  • Support for entering students into national creative writing competitions.



An English A-level is a valuable asset when applying to university or to potential employers. It shows that you have good communication skills, and that you are able to persuade, inform or connect with someone. It can lead to a higher or further education course in English or communications, as well as careers in journalism, teaching, the media, public relations, marketing, broadcasting and law. It is a useful qualification for all courses, developing analytical skills and providing evidence of the ability to use language successfully.