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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.

The assessment comprises three papers:

Paper 1:

Study of three texts: one Shakespeare text; a second drama text and one further text, of which one must be written pre-1900.

What's Assessed?

  • written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 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 on set Shakespeare text (25 marks)

Section C: one essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

Paper 2:

Study of three texts: one post-2000 prose text; one poetry and one further text, one of which must be written pre-1900.

Examination will include an unseen passage.

What's Assessed?

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


Section A: one compulsory question on an unseen passage (25 marks)

Section B: one essay question on set text (25 marks)

Section C: one essay question which connects two texts (25 marks)


Paper 3 - NEA (coursework):

What's assessed?

Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical Anthology.

Two essays of 1250–1500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a different aspect of the Critical anthology.

(One essay can be re-creative. The re-creative piece will be accompanied by a commentary.)


  • 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.