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A level English Literature at Boston Spa Academy

Course description

The course is split into three modules which cover poetry, prose and plays from across the centuries. You will look in detail at the way that writers communicate their ideas; how their work is shaped by the social, historical and literary context of their times and how people have responded to famous works of literature, both now and in the past.  AQA English Literature A's approach works from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it ws produced and so students are encouraged to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts in which they are written, received abd undertood. Students are also encouraged to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal response to texts.

Course content

Unit 1 - Love through the Ages: Exploration of this central literary theme of love in texts over time. This will involve study of a play, poetry and prose.

Exams Unit 1: Section A - Othello, Section B - Unseen poetry, Section C - The Great Gatsby and Pre-19th century Poetry Comparison

Unit 2 - Texts in shared contexts; Modern Times; Literature from 1945 - present day.  Here texts will be explored within a narrower and clearly defined time period - Taking the end of WW2 as its historical starting point. Literature's engagement with some of the social, politixal, personal and literary issues, which have helped shape the latter half of the 20th century and the early decades of the 21st century will be explored.

Exams Unit 2 - Section A - The poetry of Carol Ann Duffy, Section B - Unseen prose, Section C - Comparison of The Handmaid's Tale and TranslationsSpies and Translations

Exams Unit 3 One extended essay (2500 words) comparing two texts of your choice. This is assessed by teachers and moderated by AQA




Entry requirements

GCSE English Language Grade 5/6 



Unit 1 – written exam (AS: to be taken at the end of Year 12. A level: to be taken at the end of Year 13 )

Unit 2 – written exam (A level: to be taken at the end of Year 13)

Unit 3 – one extended essay (2500 words) assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA.

Financial information

Students need to purchase their own copies of the texts – approximately eight in total.

Future opportunities

Higher Education Progression:

Essential for all English Literature degrees.

Useful for English Language, Media, Journalism, Law and History degrees.

Rated highly by top universities


Career Opportunities:

English Literature is valued highly in a variety of employment fields, including journalism, teaching, law, advertising, marketing and publishing.

Further information

Contact Boston Spa Sixth Form on 01937 846612.


How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 10 January 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years