English Literature A Level

About the Course

English Literature at A level gives students the opportunity to study literature through the lens of historicism, encouraging the independent study of a range of texts within a shared context, giving logic and meaning to the way that texts are grouped for study. This unifying approach facilitates the inclusion of a range of wider reading, thus extending students' experience and appreciation of literature. Offering clear progression from GCSE, these courses allow students to build in the skills and knowledge already gained and prepare for their next steps. The variety of assessment styles used, such as passage-based questions, unseen material, single-text questions, multiple-text questions, and open - and closed - book approaches allows students to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate, and undertake independent research, which are valuable for both further study and future employment.
  • Paper 1: Love through the ages.
  • Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts.
  • Non-examination assessment: Texts across time.
The set texts for study are:  Othello by William Shakespeare; "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald; A collection of poems from the "17th and 18th century"; "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams; The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood; "Feminine Gospels" by Carol Ann Duffy.

Exam Board

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


Grade 5 in English literature or English language.

Course Content

Paper 1: Love through the ages. Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts. Non-examination assessment: Texts across time.

Beyond the Classroom

Literature- 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 is also the opportunity to join the sixth form book club.  

Your Future

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

Contact Department

Staff Contact: Mrs L Hallam
Hall Cross Academy
A paper copy of the information on our website is available on request to the School.