English Literature A Level

About the Course

Literature teaches us how to be a human: how to live, how to love, how to feel. The texts studied on the Hall Cross English Literature course grant access to a variety of different experiences. From the world of Shakespeare’s Venice, the heady heights of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age, the poetry of Sylvia Plath via independent study and research through the NEA, students will build on the skills started at GCSE developing their close analysis and critical reading as well as participating in active discussion in the classroom. Students will enjoy being challenged to think differently about the world around them, and their place within it – all via the medium of great literature.

Exam Board

AQA English Literature A. Examination 80%. Independent critical study (coursework) 20%.


Please refer to our Sixth Form prospectus for entry requirements.

Course Content

Paper 1: Love through the ages.  Students explore presentations of love in various literary contexts through time.

Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts: Modern times: Literature from 1945 to the present day.

Non-examination assessment: Texts across time.  Students produce a comparative essay in response to two texts as their coursework component.

Beyond the Classroom

There will be a number of opportunities to visit universities and experience degree level study, alongside attending workshops in school delivered by visiting lecturers. There are also opportunities available to meet various writers. Students will need to be proactive in reading a variety of prose, poetry, and drama texts outside of lesson to consolidate knowledge and develop critical perspectives. There will be a suggested reading list available to support this. There is also the opportunity to join the sixth form book club and attend the theatre to watch productions of the set texts for study.

Your Future

English Literature develops critical understanding and analytical skills. It is highly regarded by universities and stands well alongside other analytical A level subjects.  An English Literature A level is seen as a Russell Group Facilitating subject.